Taking notice of concerns raised by students of some universities that their exams should be conducted online, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Wednesday allowed universities to conduct exams, either on-campus or online based on their capacity.
“HEC advises universities to conduct exams based on their capacity and need for fair assessment,” reads the statement issued by HEC.
The decision was taken in a meeting attended by vice-chancellors of all the provinces and regions. The meeting reviewed apprehensions of students carefully keeping in view the difficulties brought about by the pandemic and opening of universities from February 01, 2021.
“HEC already allowed universities to use their discretion to conduct exams, either on-campus or online as long as the chosen mode provides a fair assessment of students’ performance,” the statement added.
Pakistan will see the start of the Single National Curriculum (SNC) in the next academic year, which is due to begin in August 2021, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training announced on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, under the directives of Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, the new year “would start now in August 2021 due to extension in examination dates to be held in May/June and also prolonged school closures in the academic year of 2020”.
The Single National Curriculum has been developed in consultation with area governments, said the ministry, adding that students of pre-1 to grade 5 will follow it.
It will come into effect across all public and private schools in the next academic year. The ministry said that a letter was sent to all provincial and area governments regarding the Textbook Policy under the unified curriculum.
According to the policy, private publishers are allowed to develop textbooks to be used to by students under the new curriculum on the condition that the books are “aligned with the [student learning outcomes] prescribed by SNC”.
Also, the publishers will require a no-objection certificate by the provincial textbook boards so that they may “check any inclusion of anti-Pakistan, anti-religion, and any other hate material”.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood expressed his happiness over the Higher Education Commission’s decision to allow universities to conduct online exams.
Taking to Twitter, Shafqat Mehmood wrote that he is “happy to note that HEC has formally allowed the universities to conduct online exams with adequate safeguards.”
I am happy to note that HEC has formally allowed the universities to conduct online exams with adequate safeguards. This paves the way for them to devise right procedures quickly to do so. Education standards must be kept up. Work hard students and wish you the best pic.twitter.com/8jgLKedivp
— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) January 27, 2021