Sindh govt called for realistic policy on exams, opening of schools

KARACHI:Matric and Intermediate students, their parents and teachers and the society in general have expressed serious concern and embarrassment over solo flight of Sindh government on the issues of exams and opening of schools showing disagreement on the unanimously announced policy by federation and other provinces including AJK.

They have urged Sindh Education Department and Sindh Government to adopt realistic approach instead of going behind innovative theories and interest-based models being pushed by certain circles.

Students, parents, teachers and other educated people interviewed at random in different areas of the city regretted that separate stand by Sindh Government on the above issues had created chaos, confusion and frustration among the students and their parents.

They also raised harsh questions like ” Has Sindh a different status from rest of Pakistan ? Is Sindh Government more serious and sincere in providing better education? ”

They were of the view that instead of maintaining separate political ideology in the name of provincial autonomy, Pakistan Peoples Party’s government in Sindh should follow the policy on the education issues which was unanimously adopted by Federal and other provincial governments.

They said that after spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the environment had turned hostile mainly for the lower class (which makes majority of country’s population) adding to their problems in managing their routine life with big challenge of livelihood. Of course, all this had also badly affected the behavior and style of study of the majority students. Lockdowns and each day new predication and release of the figures about apprehended spread of coronavirus disease in the country had caused mental stress and fear among matured people —what to talk about the students of class 9, 10th,11 and 12.

In Sindh province, they maintained, it was really disturbing and had created sense of inferiority among the students that they were being treated different way than other students of the country.

Accepting the ground realities, Cambridge system, the world-known quality education system, promoted their students on the basis of previous results.

According to media reports, the Committee of Chairmen of Boards of Examination in Sindh had come up with recommendations to Sindh Government which included increasing number of examination centres for social distancing of the students and new model of home examinations. Only in Karachi, around 1,50,000 students did appear in 9th and matric exams each.

They said that keeping proper vigilance and strong check over the use of unfair means in the examinations would be a big challenge for the boards as in normal environment in the past the boards had allegedly failed to control cheating.

They mentioned that in the past, especially over last couple of years, there seemed big resentment among the students and their parents in Karachi over SSC and HSSC results. That raised many questions over the credibility and efficiency of the boards in conducting exams and in assessment of the answer copies.

Referring to statements from different associations representing private schools in the province, they said their conceived exams plans seemed urban centric. The associations had hardly taken into account hardships the students and examiners would face in rural areas; even lacking accommodations and teachers for more examination centres required for social distancing.

To the demand by Private Schools Associations for opening of schools in the mid of June 2020 with SOPs, the educated lot of this international city feared spread of COVID-19 pandemic among students and teachers. And, they would be virus carriers for their families and neighbours. Practically, it was very difficult to maintain safety standards because majority of students and teachers used overloaded school vans, coasters and auto rickshaws, they argued.

They appealed to Sindh Government’s Steering Committee on Education headed by Sindh Education Minister, which was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, to come up with realistic and practical decisions widely acceptable to the people of Sindh in general.