British Council to hold special O Level Exams: Shafqat Mehmood

Non-Objection Certificate has been issued to British Council to conduct special O Level Examinations from July 26th to August 6th as the Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced on Thursday

“We issued an NOC today to British Council allowing it to hold special O level exams from July 26 to August 6,” tweeted the minister along with the notification.

By granting the NOC Mehmood said “the move will facilitate O level students to start A level or FA/FSc from September this year, so as not to waste a year.”

“This kind of exam in July is unprecedented and I am happy that Cambridge is arranging it,” the federal minister wrote.

British Council to hold special O Level exam Shafqat Mehmood

The NOC was issued in response to the letter sent by the British Council requesting for the permission to conduct exams.

The NOC states “British Council is fully authorized to conduct mini exams series from 26 July, 2021 to 6 August, 2021 subject to all approved/notified COVID-19 SOPs,”

The minister issued a separate tweet saying that the coronavirus pandemic has “created immense difficulties in all walks of life but especially in education.” after making the announcement about the NOC.

Shafqat Mehmood also said that the government is taking challenging decisions to ensure that education and learning of students continues.

“Every decision has pros and cons but for us the interest and welfare of students is always paramount,” stressed the education minister.

According to the schedule the O Level exams were to take place in this month but got delayed due to the escalation in the coronavirus cases across the country.

Shafqat Mehmood last month made the statement that “O level exams will be held in the October and November cycle and the same will be the case for A and AS level exams.”

“Those students who wish to seek admission in Pakistani universities will be able to do so until January as the government will take the universities on board in this regard,” the education minister said.

The Cambridge examinations had started on April 26 amid strong calls from the students and their parents to cancel exams considering the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.

Minister Shafqat Mehmood had said that the permission to hold exams was conditional on strict SOP observance. In this regard, the government has issued directives that no exam venue will have more than 50 people [to maintain adequate social distancing]. “Yesterday, we saw that some Cambridge exam centers violated the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs),” the minister said. “Therefore, from Monday onwards, the government will ensure the deployment of law enforcement agencies outside of the exam centers to ensure compliance with the SOPs.”

“All the education ministers unanimously decided that no promotions can be granted without exams, but for the sake of facilitating student [in times of crisis] the exams will be held in the October/ November session or after June/ July [in case of local students],” Mehmood said. Shafqat Mehmood ended the conference stressing that [irrespective of everything] exams are very important for students because they work hard throughout the year.

Also Read: O & A Level Examinations Postponed due to Coronavirus Outbreak in Pakistan

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