… education ministry decides exam options under different circumstances

Phurpa Lhamo 

The board examinations 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 the three options the education ministry has come up with regarding the board examinations of Classes X and XII.

The exams earlier scheduled on February 14 were rescheduled following a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on January 31. A notification issued yesterday by the education ministry presented its decisions under three scenarios.

If lockdown ceases

If the current surge of Covid-19 pandemic is contained and lockdown lifted, both Classes X and XII students will sit for the board examinations as per the new schedule on February 28. The exams will go on until March 12.

“Seven schools offering BCSE technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and 16 schools offering Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate (BHSEC) computer studies will start practical examination from February 26,” the notification stated.

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

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

According to the notification yesterday, the markings would be done in containment mode at venues identified by Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment (BCSEA).

“Marking camp will commence from 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 stated.

If day scholar students walk from home to take examinations, the students will take mandatory RT-PCR test prior to the starting of the examinations. Further their movement should be restricted to their schools and homes, the notification stated.

For students who are stranded in different dzongkhags, online registration would be coordinated latest by February 21. The stranded students would be facilitated to appear for their examinations at the nearest examination centre that offers the subjects he or she has registered for.

“The parent and the host schools and dzongkhag or thromde education office will be informed accordingly,” stated the notification.

Different exam dates

If there were a sudden surge of Covid-19 cases a few days before the examinations in regions and if the lockdown is reinforced, the examination in the affected schools will be postponed.

The exams would be held when the situation improves based on the advice of the dzongkhag Covid-19 task force. However, unaffected schools will continue their examinations as scheduled.

If the cases were to surge during the conduct of the examinations, the subject or paper for the examinations will be suspended for the affected schools while the unaffected schools will continue their examinations as scheduled.

If there is a Covid-19 case surge after the exams prior to the evaluation, the Class X  marking will be decentralised to the schools and Class XII markings will be done in containment mode by the BCSEA.

No Class X exams

In the third scenario, if Covid-19 pandemic continues in more than half of the schools by March 14, this year, the BCSEA will conduct examinations only for Class XII based on the rescheduled examinations timeline.

Accordingly, the dates for markings and declaration of results will be decided.

“For Class X, the continuous formative assessment (CFA), mid-term, trial marks will be translated for final marks for certification by BCSEA,” stated the notification.

Thus, the schools will submit the marks as per the format, timeline and guidelines provided by the BCSEA.