KARACHI: The intermediate, or the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC), exams began in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions on Tuesday.
In Karachi, a change in this year’s intermediate exams is that instead of conducting both part-I and part-II exams simultaneously, the boards have decided to conduct the part-II exams in the first phase.
The first phase has fresh class 12 students, previously failed students, as well as those looking to sit the exams again in order to improve on their grades, along with students who changed their groups. The second phase, to start later after the first phase, will have only fresh first-year or class 11 students as the examinees.
Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) chairman Prof Dr Saeeduddin said that holding the second-year exams first means preparing their results first as well. “It will help with early results for the second-year students, enabling them to apply to colleges and universities in time,” he explained.
Speaking to the media at the Abdullah Government College for Women, where he made a surprise visit on Tuesday, Dr Saeeduddin said that he would prefer to hold intermediate exams earlier, at the beginning of April.
“That way, we will not just have the results ready early, but the students, too, won’t have to brave the summer heat as they have to do right now,” he said.
Both the colleges, Abdullah Government College for Women and Government College for Men, Nazimabad, where the BIEK chairman visited with media teams, had no loadshedding or electricity issues as students solved their papers in a relatively better atmosphere.
“But there must be many other exam centres where there may not be any electricity during exams, so it is better to conduct the annual examinations earlier,” he said.
Though the BIEK chairman said that there was zero tolerance for students showing up in the examination halls with mobile phones or other electronic gadgets, he did urge all students to bring their own water bottles with them to the exam centres.
“There is provision of water at the centres, of course, but there is no need to take the unnecessary risk of drinking water from the same glass and catching any infection during your exams,” he said.
Talking about changes in the exams, he said this year the multiple-choice question (MCQ) papers will be provided to the students only in the last half hour of the exams.
“It is to take care of the latecomers who would arrive late for their exams, hoping to wait for the exam questions to be leaked,” Dr Saeed pointed out. “Now they better be in time to deal with the theory questions first,” he added.
The chairman also said that BIEK is not looking for lengthy answers to the theory questions. “We are not going to award extra marks for lengthy and irrelevant answers. Students need to pen relevant answers to the questions,” he said.
In Hyderabad, the HSSC exams also began on Tuesday. Commissioner Bilal Ahmed Memon visited the Public School Hyderabad and reviewed arrangements for students.
In Mirpurkhas, intermediate annual examination for science, commerce and arts groups under the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Mirpurkhas started on Tuesday.
Strict security arrangements were made in and around the examination centres.
Controller of Examination Anwer Aleem Khanzada said that 58 examination centres were set up in the division. He said that over 40,000 girls and boys were taking the exams.
Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2023