Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mehmood announced on Monday that the O Level and IGCSE exams will be allowed to start from May 10 instead of 15 at the request of Cambridge International Examination (CIE). Mehmood shared this news on Twitter, saying he has “received a letter from Christine Ozden, CEO Cambridge”, asking the government to bring forward the O level and IGCSE exams. He also shared a screenshot of the letter. “After consultation with provinces/stakeholders we have agreed. Now O level/IGCSE will start from May 10,” announced the minister. In the letter, Ozden has lauded the government for “enabling students in Pakistan to make progress with their education”. The CEO of Cambridge Assessment International Education shared that they had deliberated on the May 15 date given by the government for the start of the O Level and IGCSE exam. “We would like to ask you now to consider whether we are able to start Cambridge O Level and IGCSE from the 10th of May,” requested the UK board. Ozden said that if Cambridge is allowed to do that then it will “enable many more students to progress”. She added that the change of date will provide an equivalence in the education system that will be fairer as the students will have a “better chance to demonstrate what they have learnt”. “We would welcome your consideration of this request at your earliest convenience,” the letter concluded. Last week, CIE announced that the O level exams will take place from May 15, while A level exams will be held as timetabled. “Cambridge International AS and A Levels to go ahead as timetabled, O Levels and IGCSEs to take place from May 15,” said the UK board in a statement. Earlier these exams were scheduled to commence on April 26, 2020. However, AS and A-Levels exams would go ahead as per the already announced timetable commencing in late April. An estimated number of 50,000 candidates would appear in O Level/IGCSE and about 40,000 in AS/A Level exams from across Pakistan. The decision was taken after the minister held a meeting with the board and had announced that CIE has agreed to reschedule ‘O’ level exams to after May 15. The minister said that the decision was taken after a detailed discussion with relevant bodies, adding that related details will be shared by Cambridge later.