Owing to the coronavirus situation in the country and the subsequent lockdown which resulted in the disruption of studies, the Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) – a body responsible for granting equivalence to foreign qualifications with corresponding Pakistani Certificates – has temporarily suspended the rule of deducting 15% from the total marks obtained by O and A level students wishing to pursue their studies in Pakistani higher educational institutions.
The decision was taken to protect Pakistani students affiliated with foreign examination conducting bodies from discrimination when granting equivalence to June 2020 examination results. However, to maintain transparency, a three-year record of students’ academic performance has been sought from the Cambridge Assessment International Examination, the International Baccalaureate (IB), and the American System of Education, among others.
The IBCC’s Steering Committee, chaired by Dr Shehzad Jeeva, recently held a meeting where the decision was taken. Per sources, letters have also been written to the relevant foreign bodies that conduct international examinations in Pakistan.
According to the documents available with The Express Tribune, in a meeting held on May 21, the IBCC’s Steering Committee decided that in keeping with the Covid-19 situation and the subsequent halt of academic sessions and exams, there should be a uniform policy for foreign-affiliated, matriculation and intermediate examinations students so that they could smoothly transition to colleges and institutes of higher education in Pakistan.
The decision was taken because earlier, Cambridge, IB, and other foreign educational institutions decided to cancel the May/June 2020 examinations across the globe for the safety and well-being of students and teachers alike. The bodies stated that due to the pandemic, their external examinations will not be conducted, and the certification/results of the June 2020 series will be issued on the basis of internal and institutional assessments.
The IBCC’s Steering Committee was informed that when granting equivalence to students of the foreign education system, 10% to 15% marks are deducted from their total obtained marks. However, since the June 2020 examination results will be based on internal assessments, marks will not be deducted from the equivalence of Cambridge students. However, the decision would only stand valid for the exam results of June 2020.
During the meeting, the IBCC’s Steering Committee also decided that the results of students who and have registered with local education boards and have appeared in the examinations of country-specific compulsory subjects – including Islamic Studies, Pakistan Studies and Urdu – will be given minimum passing marks so.
On the other hand, students who have not registered with local education boards will be able to participate in special examinations conducted by local boards of education.
It should be noted that to achieve the equivalence for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC), foreign-affiliated Pakistani students must pass the examinations of compulsory subjects.