KARACHI: As the education boards were gearing up to start or resume their annual examinations, May 28, Youm-i-Takbeer, was suddenly declared a public holiday first by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led federal government and then the provincial government of Sindh, throwing a spanner into all plans.

Board officials were in offices calling meetings. They were at a loss as people called to inquire “what now?” and they asked them to stand by for further information. The students were confused; the parents were worried. For a few hours, there was complete chaos.

The O and A level exams are also underway around this time. Cambridge was quick to get themselves out of the equation by declaring that all O and A levels exams will take place as per the already announced schedule.

Matric exams under the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), which were already delayed and double delayed due to postponed papers because of the heatwave, were to resume on Tuesday. But the public holiday and memories of the nuclear test explosion in 1998 brought up another day’s delay.

BIEK announces intermediate papers will now begin on June 1

The paper to take place on Tuesday will be held later now, the date for which will be announced. Meanwhile, the papers to take place on the 29th will be the same as announced according to the schedule.

Many school associations, meanwhile, were of the view that the public holiday should not affect exams schedules. They were of the view that such unnecessary delays and postponements affected the intermediate exams and also the practical exams. They urged to treat examinations with the importance and seriousness that they deserved.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK), Prof Nasim Ahmed Memon, had already rescheduled intermediate exams due to some logistical issues as it was not easy to conduct both matric and inter exams at the same centres.

BIEK exams, therefore, are to commence from June 1, instead of the originally planned date of May 28.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2024

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