Cambridge to retake A-Level cancelled papers after students protests

In response to the demonstrations staged by Pakistani students against perceived inequities in the grading of AS and A-Levels examinations, Cambridge International has made the decision to administer a retest for the papers that were previously canceled in May of this year due to protests organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party. This announcement was conveyed by the CIE in a statement released on Friday.

The decision was made during a meeting chaired by Waseem Ajmal, the Federal Secretary for Education, in Islamabad. The purpose of the meeting was to address the concerns raised by students who received their A-Level results on August 10.

Uzma Yousuf serves as the Country Director for Cambridge International in Pakistan. The conference was attended by Maarya Rehman, the Acting Country Director of the British Council, as well as representatives from other private schools.

The meeting deliberated on the difficulties pertaining to educational institutions and their students, and sought recommendations from Cambridge University with the aim of providing assistance to these pupils.

Cambridge International elucidated to the minister the methodology employed in the computation of assessment marks, along with a justification for the necessity of reverting to the pre-pandemic norms of our qualifications.

According to the statement from Cambridge, the education ministry acknowledged that the June 2023 exam results are deemed to be fair, genuine, and reliable, despite the fact that certain students were unable to complete some components of the exams due to the disruption that occurred on May 10th, 11th, and 12th.

According to Cambridge, students who were unable to complete a component for Cambridge International AS and A-Level on May 10, 11, and 12 due to the cancellation of tests will have the opportunity to retake the exams for that particular subject in the November 2023 exam series without incurring the usual Cambridge exam price.

Students who request to retake a qualification are required to complete all pertinent components in the month of November, encompassing both the components they were unable to undertake in June as well as those they had already attempted. According to the statement, students who wish to retake their A Level examinations are need to take all components, including both the AS and ‘A2’ components.

The government has resolved to convene meetings with vice-chancellors of esteemed institutions in Pakistan, with the purpose of soliciting their cooperation in granting flexibility within their admission procedures for students. Cambridge has also expressed its willingness to extend a similar request to universities in Pakistan.

According to the official statement, the ministry would collaborate with the provincial administration to implement comparable measures.

The development ensued subsequent to the expression of discontent by numerous A-Level students regarding their results, leading to widespread rallies in Karachi and Lahore as a means of protesting against the implementation of the average points system.

According to student reports, grades of C, D, E, and U were assigned to their cancelled papers as a result of the implementation of the average grading system.

In response to extensive criticism and calls for a reevaluation of its grading system in light of the perceived unsatisfactory outcomes this year, Cambridge International has asserted that the current standard aligns with the pre-pandemic standard of 2019.

According to a representative from Cambridge International, the organization has been implementing a series of incremental adjustments to align the level of their qualifications with the pre-pandemic standards of 2019, similar to other examination boards.

According to the statement, the current academic criteria have reverted to the level observed in 2019. This implies that a student who would have attained an A grade in 2019 will have an equivalent probability of obtaining an A grade in 2023.

According to the announcement, students globally have observed a restoration to the 2019 standard.

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