Saturday holiday a dilemma for education boards
KARACHI, May 3: A Sindh government’s notification regarding the curtailment of the weekly working days with immediate effect has thrown the educational boards as well as thousands of candidates registered with them across the province in a quandary.
All the intermediate education boards have almost completed their preparation for the Higher Secondary Certificate annual examinations beginning on May 7 across the province under separate date sheets, which called for conducting examinations on Saturdays as well.
On the other hand, the Sindh government on Thursday announced Saturdays as holidays, in addition to Sundays, to comply with what it said was a decision taken by the prime minister during the energy conference held at Lahore about a month back to enforce a five-day working week.
The directive lately generated debates among the examination staff as well as the teachers belonging to the government institutions. “We are faced with an unusual situation — whether to observe the two-day weekly off or to hold the examination as per the schedule handed over to thousands of candidates to value the cause of public examination,” said a senior college teacher.
When contacted, chairman of the Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi, Anwar Ahmad Zai, said that there were three Saturdays which had already been earmarked for the conduct of the annual examinations involving 230,000 candidates.
“In view of the law and order pattern related to Karachi, personally I am of the view that examinations should go on as per the already given date sheet,” he said. “However, a final decision will be taken at a meeting of the officers concerned of the BIEK on Friday.”
Replying to a question, Mr Zai said if the BIEK decided not to hold examinations on Saturdays then the papers falling on Saturdays would just be shifted to dates after May 28, when the first phase of the examinations would complete.
The chairman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Hyderabad, Prof Abdul Alim Khanzada, said that saving energy was a national cause, which should not be overlooked.
“Though the date sheets have been distributed, we are holding a meeting to review the development on Friday,” he said, adding that there was a likelihood that the board would revise the entire given examination date sheet and issue a fresh schedule treating Saturdays as holidays. He said the sequence of papers already scheduled till May 11 would remain
The chairman of the Board of Intermediate Education, Larkana, Mohammad Dawood Memon, said that in view of the latest holiday notification his board had decided just to shift the examinations supposed to be held on May 12 and 19 to May 21 and May 22. “For some technical reasons, we have no other option,” he said, adding that about 50,000
candidates had been registered and as per the date sheet already handed over to the candidates examinations were to end on May 19.