*Exams to be held from June 1 to 13
*Steps taken to ensure exam is carried out in a safe environment
*Maximum of 8 students in each classroom and 40 in large gym
*Thermometers, masks, gloves and sterilisers at all test sites, grading and control centres
*Each school bus will carry only eight students; drivers will be isolated for 14 days before the start and until the end of the tests
*Bus observer will take temperature of students before they enter the bus and the school
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has completed its preparation and has taken all precautionary measures to start the examinations of the end of the second semester of the general and specialised Secondary School Certificate for the academic year 2019/2020 on Monday, June 1, 2020, which will continue for two weeks and end on June 13.
About 11,500 students will take exams this year, spread over 149 sites. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education plans to allocate about 6,100 employees to work as observers and in committees.
The ministry has devoted Wednesday June, 3 to the optional subjects' exams (Business Administration, Arts, German, French, Japanese and Information Technology).
The test papers will be marked according to the announced schedule, and the results will be announced through the ministry's website after their approval by HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education. The certificates will be received in schools and students will be notified of the date with a text message.
HE the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Nuaimi had recently confirmed, in statements to Qatar News Agency (QNA), that the ministry attached great importance to high school students, adding that comprehensive lessons were provided for all subjects to ensure that the learning objectives were adequately covered by multiple platforms, in addition to the continuous communication between teachers and students.
Dr al-Nuaimi said that the preparations by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education for the tests for school students (day and adult education categories) for the academic year 2019-2020 were proceeding well.
In light of the global spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), the Ministry of Education and Higher Education worked in co-ordination with the Ministry of Public Health and other institutions in the country to ensure that these tests are carried out in a safe environment.
The Student Assessment Office has taken a number of measures to implement the tests under these current circumstances, including restricting the maximum number of students in a classroom to 8 and 40 in a large gym with a distance of up to 4 meters in order to ensure there is no crowding.
Furthermore, masks, gloves and sterilisers will be provided at all test sites, grading and control centres, along with thermometers.
In this context, a health and safety manual has also been prepared to carry out the second semester exam. Additionally, an awareness plan was also prepared for all groups participating in the test. The exam time was changed to start at 9am so that all necessary precautions are implemented.
Dr al-Nuaimi revealed in his statements to QNA that two buildings for grade assessment and Secondary Certificate control were shifted to two larger buildings to ensure that no congestion occurred during the grading process. The distribution of the members of the grading and control committees was done according to all prescribed safety procedures.
In this context, the ministry ensured that the transportation to school is safe, as most students will go to the exam sites in their own vehicles while the rest will be transported through school buses, which will be only carrying eight students, and the drivers will be isolated for 14 days before the start and until the end of the tests. The bus observer will also measure the temperature of the students before they enter the bus and the school to ensure that they are not infected with the virus.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has taken all precautionary measures during secondary school exams for students of the Religious Institute for the academic year 2019/2020.
The ministry said that the 48 students were distributed to 6 committees with 8 students in each committee, in addition to allocating places to wait for students before exam starts according to the same mechanism followed in committees, adding that this is in implementation of the procedures for social distancing among students.
The exams, which were suspended on May 14 according to schedule, will be resumed on June 1 and will continue until 13 of the same month.
The religious institute administration has taken all precautionary measures to ensure that the exam process is carried out safely, the ministry said, adding that measures include sterilisation of the headquarters of the test committees, in order to preserve the health and safety of students and observers.
The ministry has called on school principals and parents to create an enabling school and home environment to meet the students' requirements in the optimal way in these exceptional circumstances.
The ministry appealed to the students to adhere to the precautionary rules, regulations, directives and guidelines of the schools, noting that the exams will proceed in accordance with the plans and timetable drawn for it.
In a related context, and in accordance with the ministerial decision issued by HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi amending some provisions of the annual school calendar for the academic year 2019/2020, the dates of the second round of exams for all grades (first to 12th -day and adult education) for the academic year 2019/2020 will be held from August 23, 2020 until August 31, 2020.
Staff attendance in schools for the academic year 2020/2021 starts from August 19, 2020, while students begin classes for the same academic year on September 1, 2020.
Regarding the process of selecting new teachers and filling vacancies for the upcoming academic year in light of the pandemic, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education pointed out that it has many opportunities and options, as it has developed several scenarios in this regard that ensure the educational process progresses without any hindrance, while the vacancies will be filled by appointing university graduates in Qatar, as well as recruiting teachers from abroad for some majors, with testing and necessary interviews with them to be held remotely.
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