online exams
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[Update]: There was a fake viral notification making rounds on social media that Shafqat Mehmood has ‘directed’ all universities to conduct online exams only. HEC has denied this saying it is not compulsory for universities to only conduct online exams. They have instead told the universities to understand their capacity and take exams in the format that suits them the best in terms of readiness which includes but is not limited to technological readiness.

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Due to COVID, almost all educational institutes shut down, and education went online. Online classes to assignments, lectures, and meetings with professors and teachers were happening through Zoom or similar portals. But now that COVID is taking a back seat, it was announced that even though semesters happened online, online exams won’t be the way to go. Instead, they will be conducted on-site.

Online Exams Are a Go?

Students freaked out at this and had to be part of protests. The news was trending on Twitter and there were protests as well. Later, Shafqat Mehmood, Federal Minister of education, has taken to Twitter that online exams are happening, and they will occur through a proper set of guidelines. However, not every university has to do it. Universities can “conduct exams based on their capacity and need for a fair assessment.”

The highlights of these guidelines are that universities should opt for open book exams, end of semester written work, and oral exams and presentation. In the guidelines by HEC, it is mentioned that closed-book examinations are being discouraged in the present conditions.

HEC Notification

The document read:

“In terms of approaches to assessment, the present situation requires thinking beyond the conventional methods typically used in our universities. The most common method used is the closed-book examination, which no longer remains appropriate under the circumstances.”

HEC has also notified all universities that they are to announce transparent assessment policies by June 1, 2020. They have also ensured that these policies are on the following basis:

  • No Promotion without Assessment
  • Semesters Not to Be Wasted
  • Consideration of Pass/Fail Option
  • Prevention of Cheating, Unpermitted Collaboration, and Plagiarism
  • Use the Same Method of Assessment for Students in a Course
  • Grievance Mechanism

The grievance mechanism entails that students who are facing difficulties should be attended to by a committee. This committee can be formed of three individuals: at least one faculty member and one senior administration individual.

The pdf document issued by HEC can be found here!

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