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January 6, 2018

Absentees get college exam enrollment policy relaxed

Islamabad

January 6, 2018

Islamabad: A violent protest by truant students forced the Islamabad Model Postgraduate College, H-8, administration into relaxing its policy of not forwarding their cases to the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education to sit the annual intermediate examinations over low attendance.

Now, from among those 80 absentees, anyone, who passes the send-up exams, will be eligible for taking the board exams as a regular candidate, staff members told ‘The News’.

Under the FBISE rules, at least 75 per cent class attendance during a course is required for a college student to sit its exams as regular candidate. However, the H-8 college’s administration reduced that percentage to 45 following the recent three-week long sit-in by religious parties at the Faizabad interchange and the road blockades caused by it across the twin cities, which restricted the movement of many students.

Even then, the absentee students weren’t happy and kept pushing the administration for sending their board exam ‘admission forms’ to the FBISE as regular candidates unconditionally.

Seeing all their bids fall through, they opted for aggression to get their demand met by the administration. Amid sloganeering, the absentees locked the college’s main gates for around three hours literally taking over 1,600 students, teachers and staff members hostage.

Considering themselves to be helpless before protesters, the administration called in the police for help. The policemen did show up but they, the insiders claim, acted as silent spectators for two hours as one of them was related to a protester.

Thereafter, the assistant commissioner along with additional police force too reached the campus and facilitated a dialogue between the protesters and the college administration. The bid came through as the administration agreed to give relief to the truant students qualifying send-up exams.

It told protesters in plain words that there would be no change in the attendance criteria. The administration however, said it would forward the board exam admission forms to the FBISE ‘on compassionate ground’ for the absentees, who passed the send-up exams.

Unwillingly though, the protesters accepted the offer and dispersed, ending the hours-long high-drama. A teacher insisted that ostensibly, the protesters were motivated by vested interests.

He said many of absentees didn’t even know the names of their teachers and subjects they’re enrolled in. When contacted, Principal Mohammad Ali Siddiqui confirmed the rules relaxation for absentee students but regretted their aggressive conduct to get illegal demands met.

“If such behaviours are not checked, the students will sit the board exams even after playing truant often,” he said. The principal also complained against the ‘unhelpful’ police and insisted that the mob got aggressive only after a policeman incited students to aggression.