Hectic exam schedule weighing down students | Pakistan Today

Hectic exam schedule weighing down students

LAHORE: A hectic date sheet of class 5 and 8 annual examinations in Punjab has angered students and parents, Pakistan Today has learnt. According to the date sheet issued by the Punjab Examination Commission (PEC), students have to give two papers daily and there was no holiday between exams. Class 5 examinations would commence from February 1, 2011 and conclude on February while Class 8 examinations would start from February 7 and culminate on February 12.
Talking to Pakistan Today, All Pakistan Private Schools Association President Adeeb Jawadani said that continuous papers would exhaust students and teachers and the date sheet would not be accepted by private-sector schools. He said that Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman had promised a meeting with all stakeholders in this regard and private-sector schools would protest against the exams schedule.
Jawadani said that lenient date sheets were issued for Matriculation and Intermediate exams but class 5 and 8 students were being discriminated against in this regard.
PEC Senior Research Fellow Bashir Gondal told Pakistan Today, “The date sheet covers a few days in order to make it cost effective”. He said that 2.2 million students would appear in these exams and if the PEC made a date sheet of a longer period the costs would rise to millions of rupees. Gondal said that major portion of the course consisted of objective questions and should be no apprehensions in this regard. He said that all private-sector schools were supposed to make sure that all children appeared in exams, as ordered by the Lahore High Court. The PEC official said that hopefully from next year, class 8 exams would become compulsory and no one would be eligible to sit in Matriculation exams without passing the class 8 examinations. Gondal said that he could not understand why private schools had issues with the exams and they have not come up with a substantial argument against the system.
Punjab Institute of Mental Health (PIMH) psychologist Saima Majeed said, “There is negative correlation between anxiety and low performance”. She said that to some extent, stress was important but over stressing could damage the child’s creativity. Saima said that new methods of teaching have been developed but our educational system was patronising cramming adding that semester system be introduced to evaluate young children, as the present system could not only harm the child’s creativity but also create hatred for education amongst minors.
She said that the government should modify the educational system by adopting the western model of primary education. School teacher Rafaqat said that it was extremely difficult for children to prepare for exams owing to such a hectic date sheet. He said that it would create hatred against education and it would be difficult to motivate young children to study.
Rafaqat said that their school was teaching Oxford syllabus but now they would have to stick with the Punjab Textbook Board syllabus and educational quality would certainly fall. A working woman and mother of two said that it was also stressful for parents to prepare their children for exams. She said that not all parents could afford hefty tuition fees and parents had to prepare children for exams, as during exams no teacher was available for preparing children.

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