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March 19, 2020

All exams put off until June 1


March 19, 2020

Islamabad : Federal minister for federal education and professional training Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday announced the postponement of all examinations, including board exams and O/A Level exams, in the country until June 1 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He said foreign institutions and domestic boards were bound to implement the government’s decisions and if the situation improved, examinations could be held between June 1 and July 15.

"The exams have been put off as the safety of children is of paramount importance to our government. We will continue to review the situation and take necessary decisions to protect the life and health of our children," the minister told a presser here.

He said all public and private schools, colleges and universities and seminaries had been closed until April 5 in line with the decision of the National Security Committee.

"We will decide on March 27 March whether or not to reopen the educational institutions," he said.

The minister said it was important to give children a predictable future, so the matter of exams was kept separate from the closure of educational institutions.

He said the Cambridge Assessment International Education examinations, which were to be held in May and June, had been postponed, while Cambridge would announce new dates of O and A level exams.

"I requested Cambridge to reschedule exams to June and July instead of the October-November session to save the time of our students," he said.

The minister said as the exams had been delayed, the universities were told to delay enrolments.

He said arrangements were being made to engage the students in their homes through online lectures if the schools remained closed for a longer period.

The minister said the Higher Education Commission had established a technology support committee to manage online classes, a content committee, and a virus preventative measures committee.

He said arrangements were being made to broadcast lectures on television to engage students at home.

The minister said universities were told to send hostel occupants home to prevent an increase in coronavirus cases. However, foreigners will stay put.

He said the centre was working in cohesion with provinces to take all possible measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.