Shafqat Mehmood says British Council to hold O Level exams in July

Shafqat Mehmood

Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood on Thursday stated that the government has given the British Council permission to conduct O Level examinations from July 26 to August 6.

“We issued an NOC today to British Council allowing it to hold special O level exams from July 26 to August 6,” tweeted the minister along with the notification.

According to Shafqat Mehmood, the change will “facilitate O level students to start A level or FA/Fsc from September” this year, avoiding a year of study.

“This kind of exam in July is unprecedented and I am happy that Cambridge is arranging it,” the federal minister wrote.

The NOC was provided after the British Council delivered a letter with the request, according to the announcement issued by the minister.

“British Council is fully authorized to conduct mini exams series from 26 July 2021 to 6 August 2021 subject to all approved/notified COVID-19 SOPs,” reads the NOC.

The minister published a subsequent tweet after announcing the NOC, adding that the coronavirus epidemic had “caused great hardships in all aspects of life, but especially in education.”

According to Shafqat Mehmood, the administration is making tough choices to guarantee that kids’ education and learning continue.

The O Level exams were scheduled to take place this month but were delayed after a spike in coronavirus cases was seen across the country.

The O Level examinations were supposed to be held this month, but they were postponed due to an increase in coronavirus infections throughout the nation.

According to Shafqat Mehmood, O-level examinations will be conducted in the October and November cycle while A and AS level examinations will be conducted in the same cycle.

Exams for grades 10, 12, and 13 will be conducted after June 20.

“Those students who wish to seek admission in Pakistani universities will be able to do so until January as the government will take the universities on board in this regard,” the minister said.

However, he said that A2 pupils must take the exam immediately away since deferral would result in a lost year.

“In this regard, the government has issued directives that no exam venue will have more than 50 people [to maintain adequate social distancing].”

“Yesterday, we saw that some Cambridge exam centers violated the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said. “Therefore, from Monday onwards, the government will ensure the deployment of law enforcement agencies outside of the exam centers to ensure compliance with the SOPs.”

At the end of the press conference, Shafqat Mehmood stressed that [irrespective of everything] exams are very important for students because they work hard throughout the year.

“All the education ministers unanimously decided that no promotions can be granted without exams, but for the sake of facilitating student [in times of crisis] the exams will be held in the October/ November session or after June/ July [in case of local students],” Mehmood said.

The Cambridge examinations had started on April 26 amid strong calls from the students and their parents to cancel exams considering the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.

Minister Shafqat Mehmood had said that the permission to hold exams was conditional on strict SOP observance.

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