Sunday, November 22, 2020

Grade 12 exams to start on Tuesday despite coronavirus threat

 Officials say all possible safety measures have been adopted for the largest assembly of people in the education sector since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

Over 430,00 students are set to sit for in-person exams for grade 12 beginning Tuesday. This will be the largest-ever gathering of people in the education sector since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country early this year.

The exams are being conducted as over 1,500 new Covid-19 cases are being reported across the country everyday. With an additional 1,674 new cases reported on Saturday, the total number of cases has reached 218,639 with 1,305 deaths.

Officials at the National Examination Board say they have made all preparations to conduct the exams safely, and examinees need not worry about their safety. “Sanitiser will be provided to students at every exam centre. Everyone will be masked properly and sitting arrangements have been made with two meters of gap between examinees,”said Jung Bahadur Aryal, spokesperson for the board.

“The number of exam centres has been more than doubled compared to the previous year to minimise the crowd,” Aryal told the Post.

All 4,105 higher secondary schools across the country have been turned into examination centres this year. The number was 1,900 last year. This year, examinees will be allowed to sit for the exams at schools they have been enrolled in while those that have gone to their hometowns will be allowed to take the test at their nearest exam centre. Of the 433,131 examinees, over 14,000 will be taking the exams from the schools closest to them.

Aryal said that around two-third of the examination centres will accommodate up to a 100 examinees. “Our focus will be on schools with more than 100 students,” he said.

The board is preparing to publish the results within two months.

The duration of the exams have been shortened by half to 1.5 hours as their weightage has been reduced by 60 percent.While students are to take the written exam for 40 percent of their final grades, another 40 percent will come from their grades in 11 and the remaining 20 percent from evaluation by the schools.

Friday was the last day for the schools to submit the marksheet of the internal evaluations.

The board normally conducts the exams in May and publishes results by October.

The Cabinet on October 5 allowed all the boards, academic institutions, universities and other institutions to conduct their exams. Following the Cabinet decision, boards and universities have started conducting tests due for several months though there are no signs that the threat of the pandemic will subside soon.

Along with the grade 12 exams, universities are also starting in-person tests. The Office of the Controller of the Examination at Tribhuvan University, Nepal’s oldest and largest varsity, had decided to conduct the tests in the usual format starting December 13.

Pushpa Raj Joshi, examination controller, said the university is prepared to allow students to take their exams from an affiliated college nearest to them. For instance, a student enrolled in a college in Kathmandu or other cities can take his/her exams from a college in their hometown. Over 415,000 students are currently enrolled in various courses offered by the university.

Joshi said they have already prepared software to register students from the districts where they are currently living. The oldest university has around 1,100 constituent and affiliated colleges, at least one in each district.

source: the kathmandu post, 22 november 2020

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