Pakistan’s education system faces unprecedented crises amid third COVID wave

education Covid

Pakistan’s education system has faced unprecedented crises in the past Covid-grappled year which is resulting in huge learning losses for the students.

With the COVID-19 pandemic engendering massive socio-economic disruptions in an unprecedented manner, education systems — significant social institutions — have been adversely impacted worldwide. Similarly, one of the first steps taken by the authorities in Pakistan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was the closure of educational institutions.

Read more: Private schools directed to slash monthly tuition fee by 20% amid Covid-19

For the fourth time in the last year, educational institutions, from Prep to the Post-doctoral level, have suspended face-to-face teaching and instead have introduced online teaching.

As the final exams have also been delayed for a few months, frustation is rising among the parents who continue to pay the fees but are witnessing endless disruptions resulting in huge learning losses for their children.

Last week, the federal education ministry announced postponement of exams, despite the Cambridge A-level exams already beginning and the O-level about to start.

On Tuesday, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood announced that Intermediate examinations across the country will be held after 15th June 2021.

The Minister further said that currently, only A2 (A Level second year) examinations are being held across the country, but several people are voicing their demands to be awarded school assessed grades.

“If examinations do not take place, then no one will study — and that is why the (O/A Level) exams — that have been postponed — will be conducted in October and November,” he said.

Moreover, last month, the country saw an uptick in COVID-19 cases, Mehmood and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had announced that as per the suggestion of the National Command and Operation Centre, all board exams have been postponed till June 15.

“Exams of 9, 10, 11 and 12, which were supposed to begin from the end of May, have been delayed further,” the minister said said at the time. “No board exams will be held till mid-June (June 15).”

Earlier, the rumor had been in the air that students of grade 9 and 11 will be promoted without examinations. Due to the rising coronavirus cases across the country, authorities were considering the possibility to promote grade 9 and 11 students without examinations.

However, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood on Wednesday dispelled rumors that the examination for class 9 and 11 had been cancelled and said that “there is no truth” to it.

He tweeted, “Class 9 and 11 exams will take place according to the time table of the respective boards. No truth in rumours that they will not be held.”

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