Quarantined students will be allowed to take their national examinations this year if they wish to, subject to stringent criteria, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) said yesterday.
They have to test negative for Covid-19 with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at the start of the quarantine order, and complete a self-swab with antigen rapid test (ART) kits at home and test negative within 24 hours before each examination paper.
Travel arrangements to their exam venue must be by private transport or on foot, with no stops between their place of residence and the exam venue. The schools have to be informed that they are taking the particular paper so that the exam venue can be prepared.
Other measures include:
l The rooms used for quarantined candidates will be separate from the rest of the cohort and will be thoroughly wiped down after the exams.
l The students will be seated 3m apart in exam-style seating and have designated entry and exit points and restrooms.
l They will start the exams 30 minutes after the scheduled start time for the rest of the cohort.
These measures will ensure the safety of candidates and invigilators, MOE said.
The arrangements are different from last year’s restrictions, which did not allow candidates in quarantine to sit exams.
The changes apply to the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and N-, O- and A-level exams.
Those who test positive for Covid-19 or are on stay-home notice are still not allowed to sit exams this year.
If a quarantined PSLE candidate needs to be accompanied to the exam venue, an accompanying family member or caregiver, if also in quarantine, will be subjected to the same restrictions as the student.
Those on approved absence due to mandatory testing by the Ministry of Health or who have been issued health risk warnings are also allowed to sit exams if the PCR test result at the start of the absence period is negative and their regular ART self-swab results are negative.
Those on leave of absence are allowed to sit exams if supervised ART tests, done in regular intervals, show negative results.
In their statement, MOE and SEAB said that similar to the situation in previous years, candidates who miss national exams with valid reasons, such as testing positive for Covid-19, can apply for special consideration.
If a student misses all the components of the subject’s exam, such as the PSLE mathematics paper, SEAB will take into consideration the student’s school preliminary exam results for the subject to determine his relative rank among peers in his school cohort.
This position will then be used to derive the student’s projected mark from the school cohort’s performance in the PSLE, based on the mark that corresponds to this relative rank. The mark will then be used to derive the final score.
If a candidate misses one or more papers of a subject, SEAB will look at his performance in the papers he has taken to derive a projected outcome for the subject and also take into consideration his performance in the school preliminary exams.
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