A teacher attends to a student in a class at the Islamabad Model College for Girls, I-8/4, on Monday. Educational institutions reopened in cities that have recorded a positivity ratio below 5pc. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
A teacher attends to a student in a class at the Islamabad Model College for Girls, I-8/4, on Monday. Educational institutions reopened in cities that have recorded a positivity ratio below 5pc. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: The education ministry on Monday said final exams for classes one to eight were held internally and the decision to conduct them rests with the provinces and schools.

“It is for them [provinces and individual schools] to decide what is appropriate,” said a press release issued by the ministry.

“The ministry has issued no guidelines about grade 1-8 exams. The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Islamabad, which is directly under the ministry, requested for permission for holding exams of grade 8 which was accorded,” read the press release.

Speaking to Dawn, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said provinces and even private schools of Islamabad were free to decide if they wanted to hold internal exams of these classes.

He said the ministry did not ask provinces to conduct exams and even private schools of the federal capital were not issued any directive in this regard.

The minister said FDE - a subsidiary organisation of the ministry - through a proposal sought guidance in connection with exams for class 8 from the ministry.

When asked about the exams of classes 1 to 7 in FDE-run schools, the minister said the directorate was supposed to decide about these exams.

However, exams of board classes (nine to 12) will be held across the country by respective boards after July 10, as decided by Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference recently, he said.

Sources in the education ministry said the FDE a few days ago sought guidance from the ministry on holding of exams of the said classes and in response, the ministry proposed forgoing exams for these classes but a final notification was not issued.

The FDE had requested the ministry to clarify about eighth class exams as schools then, in the next class, admit students in the arts and sciences groups.

To this, the ministry accorded approval for examination of eighth grade students.

This approval led to confusion about exams of classes 1 to 7 as an impression was created that students of classes 1 to 7 have been promoted and only eighth graders were required to sit in exams.

Sources said that now the issue would be decided by the FDE and the ministry in the next few days, which would be related to FDE-run schools only.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2021

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