High courts dismiss pleas to challenge in-person Cambridge exams

KARACHI: Four High Courts, first Peshawar and Lahore, and now Islamabad and Sindh have all dismissed petitions by students citing the risk of coronavirus and challenging the holding of in-person Cambridge exams.

The Sindh High Court pronounced its verdict in afternoon, when the Islamabad High Court had already dismissed the students’ pleas and directed them to present their case before the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

In a nutshell, the petitioners sought directions so that they could be assessed on the basis of school grades using student work instead of appearing for exams in-person.

“The petitioners are in fact seeking a direction to be assessed in a particular mode i.e. based on school grades. The decision as to what mode should be adopted to assess the students pursuing O and A level courses is definitely a policy matter,” the IHC CJ said.

The petitioners’ lawyer Jibran Nasir said the IHC dismissed the petition against Cambridge Exams in limine, contesting that courts cannot interfere with NCOC’s decisions.

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According to Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, all Cambridge exams will proceed as per schedule, and will not be making use of teacher-assessed grades this year, which means that AS and A Level exams will begin on April 26 and O Level and IGCSE exams on May 10.