MoE brings back common exams from this year

The ministry will reintroduce the common exam for class VIII from this year

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has decided to reintroduce the common examinations for the students of Class VIII and Class VI.

Accordingly, Class VIII students will be appearing for their common exam this year, and the common exam for Class VI will be started next year.

According to the notification issued by the Officiating Secretary of the MoE, Karma Gaylay, the decision is in line with the education reform initiative and as approved by the Education Reform Steering Committee.

An official from the MoE told Business Bhutan that the purpose of reinstating the common exams is to promote a rigorous and credible common examination system at a key stage and to ensure meritocracy in promoting the best and brightest to the next grade level.

He added that this change would instill the value of rigor, discipline, and ethics of hard work in students from a young age.

The official said the parents and students are already prepared for the exams and were briefed by the ministry at the beginning of the year only.

โ€œWhen it comes to evaluation, the earlier practice of school-level test administration evaluation and result declarations would be completely centralized and taken over by the Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment (BESEA),โ€ the official said.

According to the official, considering the progressive weightage across the key stages, the weightage for all the subjects for grade VIII is 60% for external examination and 40% for internal assessment. The minimum pass mark for each subject is 40% and a student must secure a minimum of 40% each in both CA and written examinations as prescribed in the Assessment structure PP-XII.

The main reason, according to the official, for doing away with the common exams for Class VIII and Class VI earlier was that they didnโ€™t have value addition. The rationale for reintroducing it currently is to obtain reliable data on studentsโ€™ performance for early interventions.

The official added that the common exams for Classes VIII and VI are not high stake exams unlike for Classes X and XII.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu