Shafqat Mehmood says up to universities to decide on online or in-person exams

Shafqat online exams

On Monday, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood has asked all universities to hold online exams this year given the “special circumstances” of the coronavirus pandemic.

He asked to consult with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in this regard as students of several Pakistani universities have rallied across the country in recent days and demanded to be allowed to appear in online exams instead of being forced to take them in person in examination halls.

According to students’ demand, they attended online classes throughout the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and wanted to be examined under virtual conditions also.

In this regard, Shafqat Mahmood took to Twitter and posted, “Some university students are demanding that their exams should be online as they have been studying online. This is a decision for the universities to make but I have asked HEC to consult VCs [vice chancellors] and see if it is possible given special circumstances this year.”

He added: “Universities should also assess whether they have the technical ability to conduct exams for ALL students. No one can be left behind. It is also necessary to ensure that online exam system is not misused to get easy grades.”

However, the federal and provincial education and health ministers had announced in 2020 that grades 9 to 12 would return to school from January 18 while grades 1 to 8, and university students, would resume classes from February 1.

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