KATHMANDU, Aug 14: Students studying A-levels at various colleges across the Kathmandu Valley organized a peaceful protest in front of British Council to show their discontent over their final grades marked by Cambridge International. Around 50-60 students from colleges like Trinity International College, Chelsea International Academy, British College, Global College International and other A Levels teaching institutions joined the protest in Lainchaur on Friday morning.
“We are here to demand better results – at least the results that we deserve,” said Soniya Shrestha, a student from Chelsea International Academy.
As a result of the chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic, manual examinations for A-levels students weren’t possible. Thus, the Cambridge examination board decided to grade students on the basis of their past papers, internal exams and previous board exams.
However, the final grades rather disappointed most of the students.
“The grading method seemed fair but a lot of us were dumbstruck on seeing the results. Many deserving students are garaged with a U (Unclassified/failed) which is extremely disappointing and unfair,” Shrestha said.
According to Shrestha and other student protestors, the grade evaluation sent by their teachers wasn’t considered and the board blindly graded the students with grades different from their academic history.
Their dissatisfaction also comes as the students paid paper fees ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 70,000 for their exams but the examinations didn’t take place and the grades too are “surprising and unfair”.
According to Reecha Tamrakar, another student who joined the protest, teachers from their respective colleges are also unsatisfied with the grades and are making constant efforts to reach out to the council to address the students’ demand.
“Our exam fees are already high and we have to pay an extra amount if we wish to get our papers rechecked,” said Tamrakar, adding, “The board must listen to our voice. The pandemic has financially strained most of our families and we cannot afford to pay an extra amount for rechecking the papers.”
The protest lasted for about an hour and was dispersed after police officers overseeing the area asked them to stop the demonstration. “We had to stop as police officers asked us to leave the area. They weren’t violent and they asked us to leave the area because of the risk carried by the pandemic,” Tamrakar said.
However, keeping safety precautions of COVID-19 in mind, the students were following social distancing and other mandatory measures.