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After the A-Level disaster, Karachi O-Level students can breathe a sigh of relief.

KARACHI: There were cheers, tears, mostly of joy, sighs of relief and hugs as O-Level students received their Cambridge International Education (CIE) results here on Wednesday.
The wait was nerve-racking especially against the backdrop of the A-Level fiasco over the weekend.
Some students had not slept well. With so many butterflies fluttering around in their stomachs, many had even been unable to have breakfast and keep it down. Some parents were also experiencing similar stress. Some teachers as well.
At 10am at the St Patrick’s High School Cambridge, one found several students standing around in small groups sharing their nervousness with each other. Someone giggled, someone frowned, someone was expressionless. That’s when the school’s Rector/Administrator Reverend Father Mario Rodrigues, who was walking past, decided to have his own fun with them.
Checking his watch, Father Mario told them that they only had half an hour left to enjoy life. It was 10am. “Hold on, I’ll ask someone to spread a mat here for you all to sit and start praying on. Then after the results are released, we can take a break and dig into some beef biryani,” he said to the students, while painting the scene of mourning for a departed soul and leaving the students even more nervous than before.
“They remind me of my own self at this age,” Father Mario chuckled.
Meanwhile, the schoolteachers were not as jovial as the Reverend Father.
“The threshold is high and we have been as nervous as the students since this morning,” said history and English teacher Shazia Mehboob.
William Henderson, another teacher, who teaches English literature at the school, said he was also feeling stressed.
That was when some students coming out of the office ran to him to hug him. They showed him their results and he congratulated them. Ms Mehboob, too, was smiling from ear to ear as her students showed her their results.
After sharing his happiness at doing well with his teachers, Rohail Ahmed thanked them as he wiped a tear threatening to overflow from one eye and looked skywards to thank the Almighty. “It was not easy during exam time. My grandfather is unwell and I was taking care of him. My father was also away at the time and I had to stand in as the man of the house,” he said.
“I had already prepared my family to not expect much from me,” he said, while trying to call his father from his phone. He tried several times without success. “I think my father is expecting me to give him some bad news so he’s not too keen on taking my call right now,” he laughed.
As the students were going in to get their results from the office they all looked serious and coming out they were all looking relieved.
Ms Irshad Wilson was accompanying her worried looking son Daim Wilson for the moment of truth.
Waiting outside the office as the boy went in she said that neither she nor her son had eaten any breakfast.
“My son has always stood first in class except for once when he came second in class four. He had wept inconsolably then. If something goes wrong now, I’m afraid of the same kind of meltdown from him,” she said.
And right on cue, she saw Daim approach with a very serious face and a trembling lip. He quietly shared with her his disappointment at doing poorly. On her urging he told out his result slip to show her and the mother could not hide her smile at seeing it while her son looked very upset. “He has all As. Only one B grade,” she said aloud, waving his result for all to see. But Daim looked mad at himself.
His friend Mohammed Ammar shared his result of four A, one A* and two B grades. He looked quite pleased with himself and also tried to cheer up Daim.
So many of the students were taking pictures of their results and Whatsapping them to concerned family members back home. Rohail did the same because his father has still not taken his call.
Almost all the students that Dawn spoke to were looking forward to doing A-Levels now. Not even one said that they wanted to join college for Intermediate.
The first year O-Level or class 10 students were also seeking the results of the three exams they sat for this year. They appeared for Islamiat, Urdu and Pakistan studies, and they, along with their teachers, were also satisfied with their results.