Jury exams will start on February 28 if the lockdown ends

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…the Ministry of Education decides on exam options in different circumstances

Phurpa Lhamo

Board exams for Classes X and XII will begin on February 28 this year if the current Covid-19 pandemic is contained and the lockdown lifted.

This is one of three options offered by the Department of Education for Class X and Class XII Board Examinations.

The reviews originally scheduled for February 14 were postponed following a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on January 31. A notification issued yesterday by the Ministry of Education presented its decisions according to three scenarios.

If the lockdown ends

If the current outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic is contained and the lockdown is lifted, students in Classes X and XII will take board exams according to the new February 28 timetable. Exams will continue until March 12.

“Seven schools offering BCSE Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and 16 schools offering Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate (BHSEC) IT studies will start the practical exam from February 26,” the notification reads.

Schools will prepare to hold exams either in self-containment mode or walk-in (as day students) from home depending on the schools’ feasibility and the approval of the dzongkhag or thromde Covid-19 task force. 19 depending on the local situation.

In an earlier interview, Education Secretary Karma Tshering said that the dzongkhag Covid-19 task force would be empowered to make certain decisions based on the Covid situation in the dzongkhag.

According to yesterday’s notification, the markings would be carried out in lockdown mode at locations identified by the Bhutan Board for School Examinations and Assessment (BCSEA).

“Scoring camp will begin March 18 to April 8, 2022 and Class X results will be declared on April 24 and Class XII results on April 18,” the notification reads.

If external students leave home to take exams, they will take the mandatory RT-PCR test before the start of the exams. In addition, their movements should be limited to their schools and homes, the notification said.

For students stuck in different dzongkhags, online registration would be coordinated no later than February 21. Stranded students would be made easier to take their exams at the nearest exam center that offers the subjects they registered for.

“The parent and receiving schools and the dzongkhag or thromde education office will be notified accordingly,” the notification reads.

Different exam dates

In the event of a sudden resurgence of Covid-19 cases a few days before the exams in the regions and if the confinement is reinforced, the exam in the schools concerned will be postponed.

The reviews would take place when the situation improves based on advice from the dzongkhag Covid-19 task force. However, schools not affected will continue with their reviews as planned.

Should cases increase while exams are in progress, the exam subject or test will be suspended for affected schools while non-affected schools will continue their exams as scheduled.

If there is an upsurge in Covid-19 cases after pre-assessment exams, Class X grading will be decentralized to schools and Class XII grading will be done in lockdown mode by the BCSEA.

No class X exams

In the third scenario, if the Covid-19 pandemic continues in more than half of schools by March 14 this year, BCSEA will hold exams only for Class XII based on the postponed exam schedule.

Consequently, the dates of scoring and announcement of the results will be decided.

“For Class X, Continuous Formative Assessment (CFA), mid-term, essay scores will be translated into final grades for certification by BCSEA,” the notification reads.

Thus, schools will submit grades according to the format, schedule, and guidelines provided by the BCSEA.

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