The four national year-end exams in Singapore, including PSLE and O-Levels will proceed amid with safe management measures in place to ensure the safety of students sitting for the year-end national exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) announced Friday (21 August).
National Exams in Singapore to proceed amid pandemic
In a press statement, MOE and SEAB said the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), N levels, O levels and A levels will go on as scheduled but students who have COVID-19 or are in isolation during the examination days will not be allowed to sit for the written exams. Meanwhile, those students who are on medical leave due to acute respiratory infection may do so, if they test negative for the virus.
Image source: iStock
The written exams will be held from Sep 14 to Oct 16 for N-Level students, the PSLE from Oct 1 to Oct 7, O-Levels from Oct 19 to Nov 12 and A-Levels from Oct 26 to Dec 2.
“As the national year-end written examinations are important milestones that affect students’ progression, we will make sure as many students as possible are given the opportunity to take the examinations, as long as it can be made safe for their schoolmates and invigilators,” MOE said.
Candidates in isolation during exam days to be given exceptions on “case by case basis”
While candidates who test positive of COVID-19 and those serving SHNs will not be allowed to sit the exams, exceptions can be made on a “case-by-case basis” for candidates on SHN to take the examinations under special arrangements if they had travelled out of Singapore for compassionate reasons, such as to attend a funeral of or visit a critically ill next-of-kin.
Meanwhile, candidates who are on Leave of Absence (LOA), due to close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases, will not be allowed to sit for the examinations. Candidates who are on LOA, as a result of staying in the same household with individuals on Home Quarantine Order (HQO), will only be allowed to sit for the examinations if they test negative for COVID-19. “Arrangements will be made for these candidates to be tested,” MOE added.
Summary of the arrangements for the year-end written national exams in Singapore. | Image source: MOE
In addition, MOE said candidates who miss the national examinations with valid reasons can apply for special consideration.
“In awarding a grade for these affected candidates, SEAB will consider evidences of these candidates’ performance from multiple sources, such as the candidate’s performance in the other papers for that affected subject in the national and school-based examinations, as well as the school cohort’s performance in the national and school-based examinations,” the ministry said.
“All special consideration applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and subjected to a rigorous review process,” it added.
MOE has put together answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) which can be found here.
Safe management measures to be in place during national exams
Safe management measures (SMMs) will continue to be implemented in schools and examination venues for the safe conduct of national examinations.
Temperature taking and visual screening will be implemented for of all candidates, and they will need to wear face masks when reporting to the examination venue. They will be allowed to replace their face masks with face shields when seated at the examination desk. They, however, must put on the face masks when they leave the examination venue, such as for visits to the toilet or at the end of the examination.
During the examination, candidates will be seated 1.5 metres apart from one another, with a maximum of 30 candidates in each classroom.
Larger venues, such as school halls, will be zoned with a maximum of 50 candidates in each zone, and up to 250 candidates per venue. There will be a spacing of at least 3 metres between zones. Within each zone, candidates will be seated at least 1.5 metres apart.
To avoid congregation and intermingling between groups, there will be designated toilets or staggered toilet breaks for groups of candidates where appropriate.
Staggered dismissal timings, as well as segregated entry and exit routes to minimise intermingling of candidates and avoid congregation, will also be implemented.
MOE, SEAB to continue to monitor COVID-19 situation closely
The MOE and SEAB said they will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation closely and provide updates if there are any changes to the exam arrangements.
“We urge all candidates and staff to continue practising good personal hygiene and exercise social responsibility,” the agencies added.