Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood on Wednesday said the syllabus of matriculation and intermediate level has been reduced in order to facilitate the students by minimizing their educational loss due to closures of schools amid Covid-19 pandemic. Addressing a press conference after the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) at the Higher Education Commission, he said the exams of 9th and 10th classes would be taken in only four elective subjects. Similarly, he said, exams for 11th and 12th would also be held in only elective subjects and the exam of remaining subjects would not be held. The exams would start after July 10, he added. Explaining the decision, he said only four exams, including math for ninth and matric, will be conducted. These include biology, computer science, physics, and chemistry. No student would be awarded grades without attempting examinations this year, the education minister stressed, adding, “If we do not conduct the exams, then students will not even employ minimum efforts to study.” Classes 11 and 12 will be assessed on only elective subjects, he said. “This decision will make the examination process easier for students.” The minister said the exams of elective subjects will be conducted as students aspiring to opt for a selected field could be assessed on the basis of their elective subjects. The education minister said boards were preparing to conduct exams from June 24, and now, to facilitate students, we have asked them to begin examinations after July 10. “We have also asked boards to keep some gap between the exams,” he said, as he explained the government had taken several steps to ease the process on the students as the educational institutions could not complete the course work. The education minister said exams of classes 10 and 12 would be conducted first – from July 10 – and the examinations of classes 9 and 11 will be conducted once they end. The minister said the government wants all the results to be issued by the third week of September so that timely issuance of results will help the students secure admissions in universities. The education minister noted the government had decided to shut down schools as it had become necessary due to the coronavirus situation. “We then reduced the syllabus by 40%.” He said educational institutions were allowed to conduct the classes of 10 and 12, and now, the classes of 9 and 11 will also be conducted. He said no teacher invigilating the exams can perform their duties without getting the coronavirus vaccine, and that is why the government has begun their inoculation on a priority basis. “We have assured the provinces in this regard and asked them to seek assistance if they face any setbacks,” he said. The minister noted that if the people affiliated with the education sector were vaccinated, it would be easier for the government to reopen them. The universities have been asked to consider A-Level students, who will be attempting their exams in October and November, for provisional admissions, he added. The minister said authorities would be urged to allow students, who were about to give exams in the near future, to attempt the entry tests for engineering, MDCAT, and other medical exams. “These decisions are final … and exams will be conducted no matter what happens. We have taken into consideration students’ concerns and given relaxations,” he added.