COVID-19 positive students will sit for A’ Level exams in separate hall

Students wear masks they attend classes under "new normal" guidelines. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Education Ministry has announced plans to prepare separate halls for that students who test positive for Covid-19 and students identified as contacts of confirmed Covid-19 case so they can take their A’ Level exams while remaining isolated from other students.

In a press conference at Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) on Monday night, Deputy Education Minister Mohamed Ihsan explained the measures which will be taken to ensure the health and safety of students who will sit for the exams.

Ihsan said that it is not uncommon that students are unable to attend exam halls and take their exams with the rest of the students during international exams, either due to health conditions or other exceptional circumstances.

He said that Education Ministry already has regulations in place to ensure students are able to take their exams under such circumstances.

Ihsan noted that students who test positive for Covid-19 cannot take their exams in the same exam hall as other students.

“Therefore, whether it is due to testing positive for Covid, we are establishing alternative arrangements to provide exams to the students who are unable to sit for their exams,” he said.

Ihsan said that students from four centers will be taking their A’ Level exams in the Male’ region. He said that Education Ministry was preparing an exam hall so that students from any of the four centers who test positive for Covid-19 can take their exams, for as long as the students are able to.

“We are establishing resources to provide the exams in the aforementioned hall to students who test positive from the centers in Male’ region,” he said.

A separate hall will also be arranged for students who are undergoing quarantine due to contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.

“We are establishing two halls in Male’ region to provide the exams to students who test positive and students who are quarantined for contact from all the centers in the Male’ region,” he said.

Ihsan said the largest number of students who will sit for the A’ Level exams will be from the Center for Higher Secondary Education (CHSE).

He said that approximately 470 CHSE students are scheduled to sit for their exams, and  halls in Iskandhar School, Ameeniya School, and Arabiyya School, in addition to the hall in CHSE, will be used to ensure that social distancing.

“We want to ensure the greatest physical distance possible, and to reduce congestion as much as possible, especially when entering and exiting the exam hall,” he said.

Ihsan said that similar arrangements are available for other centers in Male’ region.

He said that students from the atolls taking the A’ Level exams are fewer in number, but that the Education Ministry will ensure that social distancing is followed.

Students from 33 centers in the atolls will be taking their A’ Level exams.

Ihsan said that halls have been designated to accommodate students from the atolls who test positive for Covid-19 or are undergoing quarantine.

In addition to the separate exam halls, all students will be subject to temperature checks before entering the exam halls, and will be required to follow social distancing.

Due to the closure of schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Edexel A’ Level and AS exams scheduled for May/June has been postponed to October/November.

In light of the high number of students who have migrated from Male’ to other residential islands, Education Ministry has instructed students to travel back to the island whether their exam center is located by September 27 in order to take their exams.