The exams of matric and inter are usually conducted during the months of March to June and usually, at this time of the year, students are thinking about results. However, this year, the students are not only result but examination awaiting too. The situation has turned on its head due to emergence of deadly virus in the country. In order to minimize the risk and move forward in a positive direction, Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) has scheduled a session to finalize the future of matriculation and intermediate exams 2020. IBCC is the joint body of all the Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) in the country.
The invitations of the meeting have been sent to all the Chairmen of provincial boards including Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and KP. The meeting will also include Chairmen form AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). The meeting will take place using an online tool in order to remain compliant to the government’s recommendations. The ultimate objective of the meeting is to either announce the revised schedule or postpone the exams for a further indefinite period. The session will address numerous other topics too which are included in the agenda of meeting. The other key areas are the scheduling of examination, revision in the grading structure, revision in the paper pattern, postponement of exams and the mechanism adopted in case of further postponement.
The session will be headed by Chairman of Agha Khan Board, Dr. Shahzad Jiva. All the Chairmen will attend meeting from their respective offices using internet as the medium of communication. The conduct of exam in the month of June was also advocated by some voices among various boards, however, it is difficult to conduct examination in the month of June due to many reasons. Dr. Shahzad Jiva said that June could be a difficult month for exams scheduling, firstly, due to the situation of all cities owing to COVID – 19 and secondly, all the boards and provincial governments will need 6 – 8 weeks of time in preparing for the exams.
IBCC mentioned that maintaining social distancing during the examination will be a big challenge. Dr. Shahzad Jiva told us that even if social distancing is practiced within the examination halls, the management of the entire center is highly difficult. He further added that possible window of conducting exams is in the month of July and we will have to work on our toes for conducting 9th, 11th and 12th grade exams in a single month. If the examinations are further postponed by IBCC, in such a scenario, they will also finalize a mechanism of direct grading. Chairman Agha Khan Board, Dr. Shahzad Jiva concluded his briefing by saying that IBCC will take all the decisions based on ensuring educational endurance, transparency and fairness for the students of all educational boards. Lastly, the aim of IBCC is to move forward in a same direction by adopting a uniform policy.
The preparation for any examination is tough and reaching the day on which it all matters is highly important. The day on which it all starts and matters is the day of examination. At this very stage, the students study almost all that they could have studied. Now they have to get themselves 100% ready for the big day. The planning, revising and studying time expires as it becomes the time of action. These all feelings and criticality of the day promotes stress among the students. The students study hard running up to the exams but the most important work is yet to be done and that is the attempting of exam in the examination center. There is a probability that hard work put in during the study may not be reflected through the exam performance, therefore, there are certain tips that one needs to follow so that the performance could be maximized.
- Take Deep Breathes
By getting up early in the morning, the students first need to take a deep breath so that they can get relaxed. The stress levels are usually high during the exams day and psychologists suggest that this is the best method for relieving stress. The deep breathing results in slowing down the heart rate with more oxygen entering the blood which communicates with the brain to relax. Sometimes, the students are feeling pain in body or having a headache in morning, deep breath can also help in relieving those pains. It also improves the immunity in an individual as entrance of more oxygen cleans the body and it becomes difficult for the bacteria to enter the body.
- Eat a Good Breakfast
Before leaving the home, make sure that one has eaten a healthy breakfast to keep an individual energized. The exam day is full of hustle and bustle with a lot of pressure on mind. Even if the students know majority of the questions, one has to activate the thought process and bring all the concepts onto paper. The breakfast will help in giving energy to the mind and body. The activation of both mind and body are required to perform well in the exam, hence, it keeps one going during the exam. Breakfast helps in maintaining the required level of nutrients, fiber and fats in the body.
- Don’t be Late
The entire exam day shall be planned a day before. The discussion and finalization shall be done a day before with implementation only to be left on the day of examination. For instance, the clothes that one has to wear shall too be ready in the night. The student just has to get up, do breakfast and get ready for reaching the examination center. Equally important is the visit made a day before, as student would know what is the way to reach the center, where will be the parking and how much traffic is expected on those specific roads. We advise students to still keep a bracket of 10 to 15 minutes so that any emergency can too be covered in it as it is better to reach early than to be late.
- Make sure all things are kept
The students need not to keep a long list of things with them but ones that are required shall be ensured a night before. The day of examination shall only be a following, like a rechecking mechanism similar to a checklist. The essential things that are required are roll number slips, national identity card, registration documents of the vehicle on which the student is travelling and lastly, stationery items. All the stationery items shall be checked once and this checking shall take place a night before so replacement can be arranged of any malfunctioning items. Items like pen, pencils, sharpeners, compass or other items can cause trouble at last moments, therefore, extra items shall also be ensured by the students. Rather than keeping all the items separate, it is better to keep them in a stationery box or bag.
- Stay Hydrated
Keeping hydrated is very important. The exams are often conducted in public or government schools where air conditioning facilities are not available. This can cause the students to feel hot and sweat during the exam as they are constantly thinking and are in action oriented position by writing. In addition to that, the water facilities are also compromised as entire hall is drinking water in a couple of glasses available. Therefore, the students need to keep their own water bottle with them. The students can also keep chocolates with them as it keeps one hydrated during the exams and prevents stress or anxiety. As doctors suggest that water and chocolates reduce stress, hence, students need to keep taking these so that they can be healthy yet active during the exam.
- Do what is right for oneself
Every student has his/her own way of relaxation prior to examination. This relaxation is often done minutes before the exam so one needs to remain within his own. Few students like to discuss some questions regarding the exam, others prefer to enjoy a giggle among the friends, while some prefer to listen music on their headphones. Everyone has their own way of preparing so one shall get relax for himself / herself but keeping the basics right for oneself.
- Be Positive
Lastly, students need to be positive. All the efforts are being put in by the students during the preparation phase and now is the time to perform. Once the examination center has been entered, the students need to motivate themselves and be positive towards their preparation and attempting the exams. Sometimes, positivity can yield tremendous results that go unparalleled and even unmatched for years to come.
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The teaching of Holy Quran along with its translation will be made compulsory in all the provincial universities of Punjab as announced by Governor Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. The decision is yet to made official and implemented across the universities as final remarks and its approval rests with the provincial government of Punjab. A seven-member committee has been constituted by Governor Punjab comprising of seven Vice Chancellors of various universities. The aim of the committee is to present its recommendations to Governor Punjab by suggesting possible ways of making the teaching of Holy Quran as part of the syllabus.
The intention of such nature was highlighted while Governor was addressing a press conference right after his meeting with Vice Chancellors. He added that Quran is a complete code of life and its education will help our students to become good human beings. The meeting took place within Governor House, Lahore and he further said that it is the responsibility of all universities to impart teachings of Holy Quran among the young generation. All universities shall be encouraged through their VCs’ to make the teaching of Quran with translation as a part of its curriculum. Further remarks of Governor Punjab included that Quran with Translation will be the name of subject and shall be made compulsory for the students. He guided the media that he will talk himself with federal government and an amendment shall be made in the constitution.
The seven-member committee dedicated for this work includes seven VCs’ from various universities including Punjab University (PU), King Edward Medical University (KEMU), University of Education (UOE), University of Health Sciences (UHS), University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Government College University (GCU) and Lahore College for Women University (LCWU). The committee will present its recommendations by May 10, which will then be circulated among all the private and public sector universities. The same recommendations will be forwarded to Ulema in the province. The remarks and points of improvements shall be gathered from public and private sector universities along with feedback of Ulema. The feedback and remarks with the committee shall be discussed on May 17. Remarks shall be mutually agreed and discussed, once done, the committee will be required to improve its recommendations and submit final recommendations on May 22. The date for final recommendations and approval is set May 22 as it will be Jumma tul Wida (The Last Friday of Ramadan). Once approved, it will be implemented all across the province.