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ISLAMABAD, March 30: After the announcement of general elections date for May 11, Federal Board had postponed the intermediate examinations, which were scheduled to begin from April 30, but could not revise the date sheet as yet, leaving students and parents confused.

The absence of full time head of Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) has further complicated the situation.

An officer of FBISE said every year almost 100,000 Pakistani and expat students got themselves registered with the federal board.

“This year registration of students started some three months ago, and FBISE announced April 30 as a tentative date for exams. But a month ago the board had to cancel the date due to elections and said that it would be announced later.

As per past practice, FBISE gives the date sheet one month before the exams so now every passing day will increase the confusion, he said.

A week ago, the board officials had a meeting with representatives of the Election Commission and discussed two options.

“We should either start the exams on April 30 after declaring vacation from May 8 to 12 or postpone them till May 14. In my personal opinion exams should start as early as possible because delay will create problems for the students”, the FBISE official said.

He said in May the hot and humid conditions would make it difficult for the students to sit exams especially during loadshedding hours.

Another official of the board on condition of anonymity said after the departure of FBISE chairperson Shaheen Khan, the board secretary should have acted as its chairman, but he is too inexperience to handle the situation,.

Ms Shaheen had to leave the office because of the decision of the Islamabad High Court on March 27, declaring her appointment illegal.

He said according to rules, secretary becomes acting chairman in the absence of chairman.

But unfortunately former minister of education and training had terminated the services of secretary FBISE Professor Israr Ahmad on February 27 and appointed an EDO from Jhang (minister’s constituency) as secretary, he said.

“New secretary does not have any experience of holding exams of such a huge board,” he said.Prof Israr was sent back to Islamabad College for Boys, G-6/3.

In this situation, students are the worst sufferers because the delay in exam would spoil their studies.

Mrs Maqbool, mother of a student, while talking to Dawn said that the college had ended the session of intermediate and the students were given preparation leave. “My son spends whole day watching television or wandering in the streets,” she said.

Teachers too believe that the postponement of exam would break the tempo of students’ studies.

President Federal Government Colleges Teachers Association Prof Tahir Mahmood said long gap between close of session and exams made students relax, which affected their performance.

The students don’t have the temperament to show seriousness to studies so it is the responsibility of the board to ensure that exams should be held on time, he said.

Former FBISE secretary, Prof Israr, who participated in the meeting with the representatives of election commission at the request of the board said: “During the meeting I suggested that exams should be started on time with a break of four or five days for elections.”

Media coordinator of FBISE Akhtar Shah while talking to Dawn said the exams would consume at least one month because HSSC I and II papers are held on alternate days.