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ISLAMABAD, Aug 23: Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) has decided to give a special chance to 21,000 intermediate students, who appeared in chemistry Part-I exam in April 2012, to improve their result in the subject.

This decision was taken in a meeting after considering around 200 applications from different educational institutions as well as students, claiming that the question paper for the subject of chemistry was out of course.

Students had been claiming that the question paper for chemistry was out of course and therefore reduced their chances of getting good marks. A number of students claimed that if marks in chemistry would be given to them by considering their score in other subjects, they were confident of getting over 500 marks out of the total of 550.

Besides, most concerning issue for FBISE was that heads of some educational institutions, including Fazaia Degree College Karachi and Cantonment College Karachi, had also filed applications with the board that the question paper for chemistry was out of course. This made the board take the matter seriously and FBISE Chairperson Shaheen Khan constituted a committee headed by secretary board Prof Israr Ali and comprising representatives of Fauji Foundation, Cantt Garrison, Federal Directorate of Education and other directorates.

The committee met on August 17, however the minutes of the meeting were released on Thursday as August 18 to 22 were holidays.

An officer of FBISE, requesting not to be quoted, said the committee had called the question paper setter and sought his explanation.

“The paper setter explained that not a single question was out of course, but admitted that he had asked tricky questions which might have confused some students and they failed to solve them,” he said.

“The result of intermediate Part-I, announced on August 13, 2012, showed that students excelled in other subjects but hardly managed to get passing marks in chemistry, the officer said.

The committee then decided that all 21,000 students, who took chemistry exam, will get a special chance to improve their result, and will be able to appear in supplementary exam 2012,” he added.

Director Research, FBISE, Zulfiqar Ali Rizvi, told Dawn that under normal practice, students lose the chance of winning an award or scholarship if he or she takes an exam to improve his or her result. But the committee decided that this chance for improvement will not affect the students’ right to win an award or scholarship. This will be considered a special case and those students who appear in it and manage to get more marks than the previous position holder, will replace the earlier topper.

“All students who think that their marks in chemistry subject were less than their expectation can apply for improvement,” he said.

Mohammad Rafique, father of a student, said although the decision to give a chance for improvement was positive, according to schedule announced by FBISE, Friday (today) is the last date for submitting forms.

However, the director research said the FBISE chairperson had been informed about it and hopefully another five working days would be given to students who want to improve their marks in chemistry.