Shafqat Mahmood slams PML-N leaders over ‘cheap exam’ politics

Shafqat Mahmood

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on Friday wished students good luck as examinations are set to commence in other parts of the country.

The federal minister slammed the PML-N and said that the party is “playing politics with students to gain cheap popularity.” He strongly criticised PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Saad Rafique and said that they know that exams have already taken place in Balochistan and Sindh, and other students cannot be treated differently.

“They know that [the] decision to take exams was taken unanimously by all federating units, including PML-N’s govt in AJK, and PPP in Sindh,” he said. “They know that students cannot be promoted on the basis of previous exams as there were no exams last year.”

The minister further said that Saad Rafique and Ahsan Iqbal should know if they claim to be educated that exams are the best measure of a student’s ability. He said that it is crucial for students of class 12 to take the exams as they have to go to universities and professional colleges. “Why should hardworking students be discriminated against. Stop cheap politics,” the minister wrote.

The minister said that the two leaders should know that after the 18th amendment, out of the 30 educational boards across the country, only one board, i.e. the federal board, was given to the federal government, while other boards are governed by the respective provinces and other bodies.

“Yet they [Ahsan Iqbal and Saad Rafique] were pretending that one order from a federal minister can stop exams across the country. Again just a failed attempt at cheap politics,” the minister wrote while censuring the statements of the PML-N leaders.

Mahmood reminded students that exams would be commencing from tomorrow (July 10) in the remaining provinces and federating units.  “Wish all students taking exams from tomorrow the very best. Inshallah, all will do well,” he wrote.

“Those students who say give more time can always appear in supplementary exams taken 2/3 months by all boards. Why should these exams be postponed and students who have been studying be penalised?”

A day earlier, PML-N Ahsan Iqbal, while speaking during a session of the National Assembly, had said that “hundreds of students are depressed and are forced to commit suicide because of the pressure of exams.”

He said that students should be given at least two to three months to prepare for exams, but the PTI government issued the date sheet for exams only 20 days before the exams and placed too much pressure on the students.

Iqbal added that students did not get equal opportunities due to online classes and the smart subjects could not be covered. He demanded a 45-day delay in Intermediate examinations so that the students could receive sufficient time to prepare themselves.

PML-N’s Saad Rafique said “politics should not be involved in the sensitive issue of Intermediate examinations. He demanded a six to eight weeks delay in the conduct of examinations.

He said students could also not avail online classes due to severe load-shedding. He asked the speaker to call Shafqat Mahmood to respond to questions. The federal government had rejected the demand to delay exams despite the arguments by the opposition members,

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