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Students and examiners for PSLE, GCE oral exams must wear surgical masks: MOE, SEAB

SINGAPORE — All students sitting for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and General Certificate of Education (GCE) oral examinations as well as examiners must wear surgical masks on these occasions.

Candidates will not be allowed to sit for the PSLE and GCE oral and listening comprehension examinations if they have Covid-19 or are placed on quarantine order or stay-home notice, among other conditions.

Candidates will not be allowed to sit for the PSLE and GCE oral and listening comprehension examinations if they have Covid-19 or are placed on quarantine order or stay-home notice, among other conditions.

  • Stduents and examiners at PSLE and GCE oral examinations have to wear masks
  • Examiners will be required to ask each candidate to state his or her name and school loudly, to ensure they can hear each other clearly
  • There will be temperature and symptom screening for entry into schools and examination venues
  • In-person CCAs will resume progressively from July 12

 

SINGAPORE — All students sitting for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and General Certificate of Education (GCE) oral examinations as well as examiners must wear surgical masks on these occasions.

This is among a string of safety measures that the authorities have put in place, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) said in a joint statement on Wednesday (June 23).

They disclosed that more than 310,000 eligible students — or about nine in 10 — have registered for their Covid-19 vaccination appointments since June 1.

And by this Sunday, about 297,000 pupils are expected to have taken their first dose of the vaccination, ahead of the reopening of school next Monday.

The wearing of masks is to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission, the authorities said, stressing that candidates will not be disadvantaged because facial expressions will not be taken into consideration for oral assessments.

However, examiners will be required to ask each candidate to state his or her name and school loudly, to ensure that they can hear each other clearly.

Furthermore, candidates may ask examiners to repeat themselves or to speak louder, and a placard will be present to remind them that they can do so.

Examiners, who may similarly ask candidates to repeat themselves, will take the “special circumstance of mask-wearing into consideration when assessing the candidates”.

Last year, students sitting for their oral examinations were required to remove their face masks to “minimise any impediment to the clarity of (their) oration”, a notice from SEAB said. However, as a precaution, a clear plastic shield was placed between the candidate and the examiner.

Similar to last year, other safe management measures this year include:

  • Temperature and symptom screening for entry into schools and examination venues

  • Staggered dismissal of candidates

  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces

  • Use of well-ventilated venues such as the school hall or classrooms for the examinations

Candidates will not be allowed to sit for the PSLE and GCE oral and listening comprehension examinations if they:

  • Have Covid-19

  • Are placed on quarantine order or stay-home notice

  • Are issued with leave of absence due to close contact with a confirmed case or as a result of being in the same household with individuals on quarantine

  • Are on medical leave due to acute respiratory infection

  • Are on approved absence, as a result of being in the same household with members (aged six and above) who have flu-like symptoms

For candidates who are unable to sit for their oral or listening comprehension examinations due to a valid reason, such as a vaccination appointment that was booked earlier, they will be able to take it on another date within the oral examination window or sit for a make-up examination.

The authorities said that the date of the make-up examination will be provided to affected candidates.

Those who miss the examinations, with valid reasons, and are unable to resit for them within the examination window or attend a make-up oral examination, can apply for special consideration.

A special consideration is a procedure that awards affected candidates with projected grades through an evidence-based and data-driven approach, the authorities said.

As for the remaining papers for this year’s national examinations, safe management measures and exam arrangements will remain similar to those implemented last year.

REMOVAL OF COMMON LAST TOPIC

As a significant proportion of Primary 6 students are still not eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination due to their age, MOE and SEAB said that they will be removing the Common Last Topic (CLT) from this year’s PSLE.

The CLT is a set of topics that MOE has identified from the relevant subject syllabus that would be taught last by all schools for the graduating cohorts.

The statement explained that with the more infectious variants of the coronavirus, the need for occasional instances of full home-based learning (HBL) in primary schools cannot be ruled out.

“After careful consideration of these factors, as well as the fact that younger Primary 6 students may not learn as effectively during HBL, MOE and SEAB will remove the CLT for the 2021 PSLE.” 

RESUMPTION OF CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Due to the evolving Covid-19 situation, in-person co-curricular activities (CCAs) will only resume from July 12, a week later than earlier announced, the authorities said.

Previously, MOE stated that CCAs will gradually resume from the second week of Term 3, though this has now been shifted to the third week of Term 3, for secondary schools, junior colleges and the Millennia Institute.

For primary schools, in-person CCAs will resume in the fifth week of Term 3.

The safety measures were decided upon after consultation with school leaders and education experts and careful deliberation, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post.

“We hope that these measures will give our students and their parents greater peace of mind,” he added.

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