Matriculation exams in Balochistan’s Khuzdar were cancelled on Friday after invigilation staff were absent from examination centres across the city.
Teachers across the province have boycotted the exams as part of protests by government employees. They are demanding a 25% increase in salaries.
When the students reached examination centres, no one was there to assist them. “We waited at the centre for over an hour and then went back home,” a student said.
Earlier this week, Balochistan Board of Secondary Education Chairperson Muhammad Yousaf Baloch announced that exams in the province will begin on April 9.
More than 130,000 students are appearing for the exams this year. Four hundred examination centres have been set up and 1,200 invigilators and other staff have been hired.
Balochistan government employees protest
Members and representatives of the Balochistan Employees and Workers Grand Alliance have been holding sit-ins in the province for a week now. They have demanded a 25% increase in their salaries from the government.
The protests started in Quetta on March 29 and have now spread to other districts of Balochistan such as Khuzdar, Chagai, Killa Saifullah, Nasirabad, and Kohlu.
So far, eight negotiations between the employees and the government have taken place, but were all unsuccessful. On Monday, a 10-member committee was formed by the government to review the demands and reach common ground.
The employees have, however, said that they won’t end the sit-ins unless their demands are met. Political parties such as the Balochistan National Party have supported them as well.