No change to exam dates: Education Minister

Fiji’s Minister for Education Premila Kumar says they will consider alternative assessment modes if exams for years 12 and 13 cannot be held on the scheduled dates, but until then external exam dates remain unchanged.

External exams are scheduled to begin in less than two weeks time on Tuesday, 1 February for those in year 13 and from Monday 7 February for year 12.

Kumar said the scheduled dates are critical in order “to feed results not only to universities but also to the scholarship units [to allow] them to start identifying students who will be given the loan facility and also for the scholarship.”

“And for that reason we are not shifting and we want to provide the result to the students so that they can progress to tertiary institutions.”

When enquired over options the ministry is considering if for reasons beyond their control such as the COVID situation and events of natural disasters that exams cannot be held as scheduled, Kumar said: “If a child is not able to sit for the exam for some reason, that’s when we will be giving them a compassionate pass.

“We’ll have to wait and see, but other than that, we do have a philosophy around examination that no child should be impacted in a situation beyond their control. So we’ll take into consideration those factors. There are various assessment methods that we can use, but it’s not point in talking about various assessment method, we already know, but we’ll wait for the situation, then we will make the announcement.”

Meanwhile the ministry has tentatively earmarked Monday, January 24 for resumption of in-person learning for students in years 8 to 13. It will review and confirm so this Friday, 21 January. No date has been set as yet for students in the lower classes including kindergarten.

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