In a recent post on Twitter, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood addressed concerns put forth by students regarding examinations amid the pandemic. The Minister clarified that the decision to shift examinations online was not his but the universities’, adding that he would still try to alleviate educational concerns by asking ‘HEC to consult Vice Chancellors and see if it is possible given special circumstances this year.’
Shafqat Mahmood also stressed on the importance of inclusivity in universities, stating that institutions should assess whether they have the ‘technical ability to conduct exam for ALL students’.
“No one can be left behind,” he added.
Following the Higher Education Commission’s decision in favor of the traditional method of examinations instead of the online method, a nationwide protest by students erupted, demanding a revocation of the decision. Their central argument was based on the inconvenience of having to physically sit for examinations amid a raging pandemic, while all their classes had been online. Twitter soon began to see trends such as ‘#StudentsWantOnlineExams’ and ‘#JusticeforStudents’ almost everyday since the decision was released.
On Monday, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood revealed that online education had been successful in Pakistan as almost seven to eight million children had benefitted from the government initiated ‘Teleschool’ launched during the pandemic.