PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government hasn’t issued guidelines for the promotion of students without matriculation and intermediate examinations as decided by the federal government more than a fortnight ago in light of coronavirus pandemic.

The federal government had decided on May 14 that the matriculation and intermediate exams won’t be held and students would be promoted to the next grade without exams.

However, the provincial government even after the lapse of 20 days hasn’t come up with the guidelines on how to promote students and address related issues, officials of several education boards told Dawn.

They said the situation had confused students and parents, who were approaching boards for clarity but to no avail due to the government’s failure to decide about the matter.

“Education boards, too, are confused as the government has not issued any instructions to them on student promotion without exams,” the chairman of an intermediate and secondary education board told Dawn.

A board chairman says legislation required to prevent litigation

He said he thought that proper legislation was required for the promotion of students without examination.

“The promotion of students without legal ground can be challenged in the courts,” he said.

The board chairman expressed reservation about the promotion of students without examinations and said chairmen of all education boards favoured the holding examinations as it was possible under the prescribed standard operating procedures but they dithered to ‘cross swords with’ federal education minister Shafqat Mahmood on the matter.

Mushtaq Ahmed, a resident of Hazarkhwani, told Dawn that his son, a 10th grader, was confused and repeatedly asked questions about promotion without exam.

He said neither the boards had any information on the matter nor the students took interest in studies.

“I am really worried about the future of my son,” he said.

When contacted, chairman of the KP Boards Committee Sharif Gul said the government should prepare guidelines for the promotion of students without delay to the relief of students.

Minister for elementary and secondary education Akbar Ayub Khan and secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry were not available for comments.

However, an official of the education department told Dawn that the department was also clueless about the federal government’s decision until Monday as it had not received the decision in writing.

“We received the minutes of the meeting on Tuesday in which the federal government had taken decision regarding promotion of the students without examination,” he said.

The official said the department shared the minutes of the meeting with all board chairmen on Wednesday with direction for the examining of the decision and preparation of recommendations.

He said a meeting of the board chairmen would be called soon at the secretariat of the education department to get advice before the department decided about the issuance of promotion certificates to students.

According to the minutes of the meeting attended by federal education minister Shafqat Mahmood and ministers of the four provinces, all private and regular students of ninth and 11th grades will be promoted to the next grades.

The students promoted to 10th and 12th grades will not take composite exam in 2021. They won’t sit nine and 11th exams. The ninth and 11th grade exam scores will be calculated based on their 10th and 12th grade performance in 2021.

The 10th and 12th graders, who had passed all subjects of their previous classes, will be promoted based on their ninth and 11th grade performances respectively with three per cent additional marks.

The students sitting 10th and 12th grade examinations, who have failed up to 40 per cent of ninth and 11th grade subjects, will be awarded passing marks.

A special examination will be held between Sept and Nov for those not satisfied with their grades.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020