Saturday May 29, 2021
The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) said Saturday the examinations for classes 10 and 12 will be held between June 23 to July 29.
The development came during an NCOC session with its head, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair. The body expressed satisfaction over the current coronavirus situation in the country.
The provinces can start preparation classes for classes 10 and 12 from May 31, but they should be conducted with coronavirus SOPs intact — on alternate days, said the forum.
The NCOC, making vaccination mandatory for teachers and other staff of educational institutions, said the inoculation should be completed by June 10, in a bid to curb the spread of the disease during examinations.
The forum has opened walk-in vaccinations for teachers and other staff above 18 years of age, who can get themselves inoculated from the nearest medical facility.
"The forum expressed general satisfaction on the overall situation in the country. However, cautioned regarding high disease prevalence in Sindh," a post-meeting statement said.
The forum, imposing restrictions on travellers from UAE, made it mandatory for them to bring along negative PCR test results from authorised laboratories and said that in case of violations, airlines would be fined for accepting the tests.
The statement said the step was being taken to ensure no passenger enters the country with a fake COVID-19 test. Similarly, on arrival, passengers will be tested once more.
From June 1, no tourist above the age of would be allowed to stay in hotels without a vaccination certificate in tourist districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir — and the same will apply to tourists above 30 years from July 1.
Amusement parks, water parks, and swimming pools — with 50% occupancy — will be allowed to be re-open from May 30 onwards in districts with 5% and below positivity, the statement said.
The development comes days after Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood had announced the government had issued a no-objection certificate to the British Council to hold special O Level exams from July 26 till August 6.
"We issued a NOC today to British Council allowing it to hold special O level exams from July 26 to August 6," tweeted the minister.
Mehmood said that 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.
The notification issued by the education ministry said the NOC was issued after a letter was sent by the British Council with the request.
"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," reads the NOC.
After making the announcement about the NOC, the minister issued a separate tweet saying that the coronavirus pandemic has "created immense difficulties in all walks of life but specially in education".
Mehmood said that the government is taking difficult 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," emphasised the education minister.
The O Level exams were scheduled to take place this month but were delayed after a spike in coronavirus cases was seen across the country.