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FDE raises exam pass marks to 40%

Islamabad: In a major move that left many students reeling, the regulator for government schools and colleges in Islamabad has increased the exam passing marks.

From the forthcoming academic year onwards, the students enrolled in grades one to nine in the capital’s 424 public sector educational institutions will have to score at least 40 per cent in exams instead of the current 33 per cent for promotion to the next grades. Another must for it is the minimum 75 per cent class attendance, declares the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in a notification.

According to the notification, which officials declare part of efforts to improve educational standards, the students will not be promoted to the next grades over failure in more than two subjects. It will be mandatory for them to secure 40 per cent marks in every subject.

However, the students, who fail in two subjects but get at least a total of 40 per cent marks in exams, will be promoted to the next class in the new academic year.

The notification said the first and second graders would be promoted, while third and fourth ones, who fail in two subjects but have 40 per cent aggregate marks in exams, would also be eligible for the promotion.

For fifth and sixth grades, the students will have the leverage to fail in one paper, while with 40 per cent aggregate marks, they will have to obtain at least 15 per cent marks in the failing subject.

Also, seventh graders will require 40 per cent aggregate marks for promotion to the next grade.

The notification further said in the 2022 examinations, students of grades five and eight will have to obtain 40 per cent aggregate marks to get promoted to the next grade.

The students of the ninth grade will have to pass at least four papers in board exams to get promoted to 10th grade and that the students will be awarded three grace marks for promotion to 10th grade.

Most students shrugged off the increase in pass marks as something not worth worrying about but the rest, mostly those intending to sit exams as private candidates, found the FDE move to be unnecessary with counterproductive effects.

They insisted that securing 40 percent pass marks in exams was a tall order for many, especially those with poor access to facilities, having limited time to prepare for the exam or need mere degrees as a job requirement, so if they fail exams or don’t sit them fearing failure, the cause of formal education will be the ultimate causality. Those students demanded an immediate return to the 33 percent pass mark.

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