O/A Level Students Protest For Cancellation Of CAIE Upcoming Exam Sessions

(@fidahassanain)

O/A level students protest for cancellation of CAIE upcoming exam sessions

The majority of the students say they are not prepared yet for the exams session to be held in Oct/Nov 2020 just because the colleges and academies were closed due to Covid-19 pandemic.

LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Sept 17th, 2020) A large number of O and A level students have staged protest demonstration to call for cancellation of Cambridge Assessment International’s (CAIE) upcoming examinations sessions.

The majority of the students say they are not prepared for the exams sessions to be held in October/November 2020 as the colleges and academies were closed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The students have also asked the authorities for an award of predicted grades.

“We remained out of schools and academies due to Covid-19, and it’s the reason that we are not prepared yet for the upcoming exam sessions,” says a student who was looking anxious about his studies.

“Corona has just ruined us all. We couldn’t study during the last six months, because everything college and academy was closed,” he further says.

“CAIE should consider our problems as we are not alone who suffered from this virus but many others have been given relief,” says Ali Ahmad, asking the authorities concerned for concession.

Students’ protest has taken place at the moment when all educational institutions have been reopened after significant decline in Covid-19 cases across the country. The students are under “huge mental stress” while their parents are worried about their safety due to possible threat of Covid-19. Social distance is almost impossible as large number of students will gather outside in the waiting areas.

“We demand predicted grades for all regular and private students,” says Hassan Ahmad, another student. He says that it should be on the basis of course works or any evidence-based assessment from Cambridge.

“Sept 30 is the deadline set by Cambridge for Pakistan,” he further says, adding that Cambridge has also given an option to withdraw from Oct/Nov series and the local schools should consider it. Over 10,000 students have also signed a petition of demands for cancellation of their upcoming exams.

“It’s our demand from our government that it should request Cambridge to give candidates of Oct/Nov expected grades as the other students have been given,”. Zeeshan Rafiq, another student, says that the grades are very important for their future.

“We can’t afford any risk that could cause literally pave the way ahead of us,” says Rafiq, who was holding the placards outside Lahore Press club inscribed with a slogan: “Cancel the exams please”.

The students are also worried just because of the lethargic attitude of the local authorities, especially the attitude of Federal education Minister Shafqat Mahmood who have not paid any attention to their demands.

A day earlier, a huge protest was recorded in Islamabad where the students were holding placards inscribed with slogans for the cancellation of the upcoming session. They also warned of hunger strike if their demands are not met.

“I just wonder that how our government has allowed exams when we are not prepared,” said Shahzada Ruhaan Ahmed, another student, adding that Covid-19 destroyed their learning.

“Please consider our demands which are real and genuine,” he further states.

Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), however, decided that grades issued for the June 2020 series would not be lower than the predicted grade submitted by the school, making it clear that "if a grade that was issued last week higher than the predicted grade, the higher grade will stand,”.

Cambridge International is yet to give a final statement on the cancellation of the upcoming session.

Last month, students and parents staged protest against Cambridge for unexpected results, believing that their grades were unfair and discriminatory. As many as 950,000 students from 139 countries opted for the grade prediction method for the Cambridge May/June session.

After announcement of results, Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced that the CAIE had agreed to review its grading procedures for the recent O/A level results.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.