There will be no ranking and SUPW grading this year

Yangchen C Rinzin

Allaying fears that students would not be assessed and promoted to the next class, the Royal Education Council (REC) has prepared assessment strategies based on three options considering student’s accessibility to online education.

REC’s Dean for curriculum development centre, Wangpo Tenzin, said students without access to online education would be assessed based on a few questions assigned to them. They could also give assignments and evaluate them.

In remote schools, teachers could conduct mobile examinations, meaning teachers can go to students and conduct class tests in a small group based on objective type questions with three choices.

“At the end of every video lesson broadcasted on BBS, there are questions assigned including in the Self-Instructional Materials (SIM), the teachers can make students answer and assess them,” he said. “This is to do with understanding lessons and not about the content knowledge or subject.”

Classes PP-IX and XI are taught based on the adapted curriculum, which is  theme-based and delivered covering two to three subjects. Wangpo Tenzin said for PP-VI, emphasis was based on literacy and numeracy and theme-based and subject-wise for rest.

For Classes PP-VI, promotion of students will be based on instructions and assessment tasks provided through video or radio or SIM or other social media platforms.

Meanwhile, teachers were asked to continue maintaining records of activities and assignments submitted by individual students.

Promotion for Classes VII-IX and XI will be based on short assignment/objective questions/conventional tests or video lessons questions and radio lessons assigned through Google classroom.   

Wangpo Tenzin said schools would issue the progress report and that there would not be ranking of students this time. He added that the socially useful productive  work  (SUPW) would also be not graded. “There will be no mid-term and trial examinations in order to make up for the lost instructional time. We decided not to rank individuals, as this is not an academic assessment but only to provide assessment based on certain evidence to promote students.”

However, if the government directs to reopen Classes VII-IX and XI in the second phase, Wangpo Tenzin said that REC would discuss with the education ministry whether to teach students based on the adapted curriculum or prioritised curriculum.


Prioritised curriculum for Classes X and XII

The prioritised curriculum selects important chapters from each subject and is taught formally in the class. “If classes start from August, we would advise to go with the adapted curriculum. Otherwise, it would not be able to complete the syllabus in the priority curriculum on time,” Wangpo Tenzin said.

Prioritised curriculum for Classes X and XII was already implemented. If the prioritised curriculum is implemented for Classes VII-IX and XI, examination will have to complete before the start of board examination.

As per the Education in Emergency guidelines, the timing of the examinations for different classes should be planned to maintain social distancing. Practical exams will also be conducted.

For board examinations, exams will begin with practical from mid-November and theory examination from the end of November. However, it will be left to the Bhutan Council for Examinations and Assessment to prepare questions based on 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.

Some of the areas of assessment will include maintaining health, hygiene, sanitation of the school and behavioural aspect.

All schools would be also asked to practice the Covid-19 safety protocol measures in whatever manner the assessment will take place including wearing of face mask and sanitiser.

Wangpo Tenzin said if the situation improves and the next academic session starts on time next year, schools must take a month or two to help students with bridging curriculum to reinforce learning. “This will ensure that students learn and are prepared for the new class.”