IT was extremely shocking to hear about the cancellation of board examinations by the federal education minister, which shows the incompetence of his ministry and the higher-ups.
Intermediate examinations are very critical as one prepares to get enrolled into medical and engineering programmes, especially in public sector institutions where fee structures are five times lower than those in the private sector.
The minister did not give a road map or options on how the merit will be prepared, as the second step is entry tests, which is the major part of preparing merit. The government should make a plan to conduct province-wise examinations instead of individual boards.
The whole task can be done in two weeks, and examinations can be conducted in major cities, and large schools, colleges and universities can be used as examination centres.
The government can have the services of Rangers to maintain discipline, and it should provide medical staff to check each candidate’s physical fitness. Examinations can be conducted in the morning and evening, and proper seating arrangements for the sake of social distancing can be made like we have in mosques.
If mosques can be allowed to have prayers, why can’t we have examinations? An online system should be initiated where candidates can register themselves and provide necessary information so that roll number slips are issued according to their choice of centres and cities.
E-checking can be done and software for this are available. The entry tests can be conducted in the same manner.
I hope the government will give every candidate a fair chance and will save their academic year.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020