No annual exams for classes PP to VIII

Their academic session will end on November 30

The academic year for classes PP to VIII will end on November 30 with their promotion being determined by a formative and summative assessment instead of an annual examination, according to Education Secretary Karma Tshering.

Although regular teaching and learning was not feasible since the closure of schools due to the pandemic, students have been engaged in online learning through various innovative modalities like Google classroom and other media platforms.

For classes below VIII to IV, guidance and support were provided through Google classroom and classes PP to III were engaged through other social media platforms like WeChat, Telegram, and WhatsApp.

Though the students were engaged through online learning, parents and students were confused about how the students would be promoted to the next level.

However, the education Secretary has confirmed that for classes PP to VIII, there will be no annual exams. “Teachers have to keep a record of the activities students have completed and they will be promoted based on their works,” he said. However, the completion of the curriculum will be determined based on the implemented adapted curriculum during the closure of schools.

According to the Guidelines for Curriculum Implementation Plan for Education in Emergency (EiE), for a formative assessment, every video lesson shall contain competency video tasks. Students are required to complete theses task and submit to the respective teachers. Teachers assess the performance of students based on the assigned tasks and provide feedback using the criteria provided in EiE guidelines.

Summative assessment is designed for examinations and student promotion but for those students who come from rural areas, it is not advisable to conduct standard examinations based on the content covered through eLearning, according to the ministry.

Education Secretary said that those students who were not engaged optimally through social media platforms will be promoted based on location and situation of the student but they need to have a record of what they have done and the respective school will decide whether to promote him or her to next level.

Meanwhile, students are excited about the prospect of absence of an annual examination.

Karma Lhamo said that her daughter who studies in Class III is looking forward to end her classes but she is worried whether her daughter will be promoted as she rarely completes her school-work.

Pema Wangmo said that she was unaware of whether there will be exams or not but she knew classes would get over this month. “I am a bit relieved as needed to spend time with my daughter to help complete her homework.”

Karma Yangzom, a class VII student said that she completed her assignments on time and now she is in for a respite. “I have plans for the holidays,” she smiles.

Tashi Dorji who studies in class III said he was frustrated with his classes and the holidays was a welcome break. “I will get time to watch YouTube videos and play with my friends freely,” he said.

Tenzin Lhamo from Thimphu