Yangchen C Rinzin 

Should the schools reopen after 10 days, the education ministry has proposed to postpone the board and home exams to March.

The trial exam for Classes X and XII will be also postponed.

The government is also looking into re-opening Classes IX and XI if the situation favours. Classes X and XII reopened in July.

Health experts will assess the situation after 10 days.

Education Minister Jai Bir Rai said that given the disruption of an academic session due to Covid-19 and lockdown, time would not be enough for the completion of the syllabus in two months. “We’ve lost teaching-learning time. We’ve to give students enough time to complete the curriculum to attend the exam.”

If the proposal is approved, Lyonpo said that trial exams could take place whenever possible but a board examination would take place in March. “Maybe, for the home exam, we can conduct at least a week ahead of the board exam.”

Lyonpo said that after the approval of the proposal ministry would inform Bhutan Council for Examinations and Assessment to prepare questions and conduct exams.

Prioritised curriculum was applied since re-opening of Classes X and XII. The adapted curriculum was applied for Classes PP-VIII and IX and XI. Classes PP-VIII will remain closed for 2020 academic session and continue to learn through the adapted curriculum.

The adapted curriculum is a thematic curriculum or different stages based on the Education in Emergency (EIE) I that engaged students through television, radio and Self-Instructional Materials as schools remained closed.

A prioritised curriculum, based on EIE II, is a distilled curriculum that comprises procedural knowledge, skills, values, strategies and processes.

According to the prioritised curriculum, exams were supposed to start with practical from mid-November and theory from the end of November.

BCSEA will prepare questions based on the prioritised curriculum. The respective subject teacher will have to conduct viva voce and project work validation to avoid movement of teachers. SUPW grading will be based on the class IX and XI SUPW respectively for Classes X and XII.

An official from BCSEA said that as of now BCSEA was preparing to conduct exam as planned earlier—November. “However, we’ll gear up as per the directives from the ministry and plan accordingly if the government approves the proposal.”

The official said that it would be a challenge for the BCSEA, especially in terms of evaluation, as a strategic place and time is required.

“It’ll be difficult to get teachers to mark the papers and to find a conducive venue for the evaluation,” an official said. “We also need to plan the result declaration. We may not get alternative ways of correcting papers.”

There are 123 public schools. Eighty have boarding schools with about 20,000 students. There are 22 private schools (17 boardings) with 6,058 students in Classes X and XII.