#ImranKhanCancelExams and #ImranKhanJawabDou were among the top trends on Twitter as the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and the Government of Pakistan refuse to cancel this year’s O’ and A’ Level exams and the board exams. Pakistan is currently experiencing a deadly third wave of COVID-19 with fears of an India-like situation and students are arguing that the exams not only pose a risk to their health but they have also been unable to prepare for them because of school closures. The high courts in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Karachi have also dismissed students petitions.
Students have expressed their worries and concerns over the matter on social media, tagging government accounts so that their pleas are heard. Other hashtags trending on social media included #CancelExamsPakistan2021 and #PMImranCancelExams. While some resorted to sharing memes, others threatened the PM Khan that they will not vote for him in the upcoming General Elections 2023.
Several celebrities and renowned personalities including Feroze Khan, Aagha Ali, Momina Mustehsan, Jibran Nasir and Waqar Zaka have also extended their support to students, urging the government to cancel exams.
Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court (SHC), Lahore High Court (LHC), Peshawar High Court (PHC) and Islamabad High Court (IHC) have all dismissed the petition of Cambridge students.
The SHC, in its judgement, maintained the NCOC and Shafqat Mahmood’s decision to hold physical exams for Cambridge but urged strict implementation of SOPs during the exams. It also made assurances regarding withdrawing from current exams anytime before the end of series with no extra fee as part of the order.
Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood on April 18 had clarified that all Cambridge exams will proceed as per schedule, and will not be making use of teacher-assessed grades this year. AS and A’ Level exams are scheduled to begin from April 26, while O’ Level and IGCSE exams will start from May 10.
Matriculation and Intermediate board exams, on the other hand, have been deferred and will take place varyingly across provinces, starting late May.