Salma Jahangir

PESHAWAR: Students in Peshawar say coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and closure of schools and repeated holidays prolonged the academic year, but teachers could not complete the course to students due to which they are facing difficulties now.

Safia, a student at a government school in Peshawar, says she fears that her academic year would be wasted as her preparation for exams is far from ideal. She says her worries are increasing as the exams are coming closer.

“How can we perform well in physical exams when we have not studied in classes normally,” she questioned.

However, Kiran, a schoolteacher, rejects the assertion of Safia, and says all the students have been given lecturers in accordance with curriculum. She says teachers had also started revision of course, but could not complete it due to closure of schools because of coronavirus. She says revision of course would have been beneficial, but still the students studied according to course calendar and they must be good enough to go for exams.

Kiran says when the study session is in full swing then it is good for students, and any interruptions disturb the flow and progress. She says wastage of precious time of students also affects their interest in studies.

On the other hand, students say the course of six months could not be completed even in 14 months due to first and third waves of coronavirus.

The government has decided to hold matriculation and intermediate exams in July, but most students are reluctant to go for it, while teachers are favouring physical exams. The government says papers will be taken only in optional subjects.

Tehmina, another schoolteacher, is not in favour of this decision and says papers in compulsory subjects must be taken to give opportunity to students to secure more marks.

Hajira, a ninth grade student, says she is happy over the government’s decision and hopes to secure maximum marks, but Safia, who is first year student, says she is not happy at all and wants direct promotion to next grade.

Saadia, who is associated with education field, told TNN that exams in half subjects are not good because it would develop non-seriousness among students. She says she supports full exams.