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Board exams.

Byline: M Sayyad Khan - Peshawar

THE decision of the federal and the provincial governments to promote all students without taking board examinations this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic has added to chaos that prevails in education these days.

Although the provinces are striving to find some formula based on the previous record of the students to grade them in the current year's examination, the very idea of promoting students without appearing in any sort of examination paper seems absurd.

In my opinion it is illogical to apply a formula across the board on all students without taking into consideration their individual intellectual abilities.

I feel this policy will be unfair to students who have worked hard throughout the academic year in the hope of getting better grades in this year's board examinations. Agreed that an examination on the pattern as practiced in the past is not possible given the prevalent situation, but I feel a better option could have been worked out.

One possible option would be to conduct a one-hour MCQs based test for each paper. This will not only test the student's ability but also discourage rote learning which is prevalent in our educational system. The test can be taken in two shifts to ensure social distancing among students. The SOPs of wearing masks and gloves should also be ensured.

Such a solution is better as the students and their parents would know that they have been assessed for their efforts rather than being awarded marks based on mere assumptions.

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Author:M Sayyad Khan - Peshawar
Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:May 17, 2020
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