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Educational boards agree to award grace marks

KARACHI, July 2(Dawn): All the educational boards of the province have unanimously proposed to award two per cent grace marks to all the candidates who have taken this year's examinations. A summary to this effect is expected to be sent to the Sindh governor on Monday (today), learnt reliably on Sunday.

Sources said a meeting of the Sindh Boards' Committee held in Larkana on Saturday, in which the proposal improvised by the Sindh governor to award two per cent grace marks to the candidates of the secondary, higher secondary technical school examinations being held this year, was discussed at length.

Sources said the chairmen of the education boards of Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur and Mirpurkhas and the Sindh Technical Education Board, discussed the situation that arose in the wake of chronic load-shedding in Karachi, which made it impossible for students to prepare for the examinations with full concentration.

"The officials agreed that the power failures of ten to 12 hours had caused a negative impact on the performance and standard of the candidates, which demanded some consolation from the official quarters," said a source.

The sources said the thunderstorms and heavy rains across Sindh also came under discussion and all the chairmen of the boards agreed that awarding of the grace marks would not affect the overall standard and quality of education.

"Some participants argued that such a measure is being taken for the first time in the history of Sindh and whether it would affect the overall quality of our education," said a source.

However, during the long debates all the participants agreed that the candidates could not get enough time due to prolonged power failures and rain devastation, which had affected their concentration while preparing for the examinations.

Sources said the chairmen also decided that the grace marks would be given to all the candidates irrespective of their percentage and regardless of the fact whether they had passed the examinations or not. In this manner, officials said, those who could not pass due to having marks two per cent below the pass percentage could benefit.

Besides, the grace marks would be highlighted separately in the registers so that the actual worth of a candidate could be gauged, it was learnt.

"This privilege is just for this year's examination," said a source dispelling the reports that candidates would get two per cent of all the exams covering the two years of SSC or HSC.
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