Plea against A, O levels exams: Notices to British Council, ministry

Published April 15, 2021
Several students filed the petition through Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi, pleading the O & A levels classes had not been held for the whole academic year and syllabus was not covered for the most part. — Wikimedia Commons/File
Several students filed the petition through Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi, pleading the O & A levels classes had not been held for the whole academic year and syllabus was not covered for the most part. — Wikimedia Commons/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the British Council, Pakistan director of Cambridge and federal ministry of education on a petition challenging physical presence of students in O & A levels exams despite growing cases of Covid-19 in the country.

Several students filed the petition through Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi, pleading the O & A levels classes had not been held for the whole academic year and syllabus was not covered for the most part, yet the students were forced to take exams in the traditional way, putting their own lives and of their family members at risk.

They said the respondents had announced that the exams would be held with the physical presence of the students in the examination halls and rooms.

However, they said, Cambridge had given two options to the respective governments of the countries witnessing the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases; to either hold exams in traditional way or avail school-assessed grades for the students.

The last date to inform Cambridge of their decision was April 17, while the students were due to take their examinations starting from May 4 (for O levels exam) and April 26 (for A levels exam).

The petitioners contended that the education ministry and other local authorities could prevent the massive risk to the health and life of the petitioners and request the Cambridge for allowing school assessed grades to them.

They asked the court to direct the government to request the British Council and Cambridge to switch over to school-assessed grades option, and avoid the risk for the petitioners.

The court issued notices to the respondents, asking them to file their replies by April 21.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2021

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