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Picture for illustrative purposes - exams at a UAE school Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: With other schools shut for the spring break, leaders at Asian curriculum schools are continuing to implement special precautions to ensure that board exams can go on as scheduled.

The board assessments include Grade 10 and 12 exams at Indian curriculum school, Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 exams at Pakistani curriculum schools, and Grade 12 exams at Bangladeshi curriculum schools. These schools are continuing to thoroughly disinfect exam halls ahead of their respective assessments in order to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.

“Students have been preparing for these exams all year long, and they should be able to get them over with. Besides, the additional precautions specified by educational authorities really help mitigate any risks,” Annahita Pagdiwalla, principal at Mayoor Private School in Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News.

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Annahita Pagdiwalla, principal at Mayoor Private School, Abu Dhabi

“Under the Bangladeshi board, a special government decision has to be taken to postpone exams. So it is important for the students to be able to take these exams on time. Besides, we only have 19 students taking the exams at our school, so can easily adopt infection control measures,” said Mir Anisul Hassan, prinicipal at Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladeshi Islamia School.

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Mir Anisal Hassan, principal at Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladeshi Islamia School Image Credit: Supplied

Preventive measures

As Gulf News reported last week, schools across the country have been closed for four weeks from today to ward off infection risks from the novel coronavirus. Already, two students have contracted Covid-19, so health and education officials, in collaboration with the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority, announced an early spring break, followed by remote learning for two weeks. In the meantime, authorities have already sterilised 620 schools and 6,000 buses, and conducted 700 inspections.

For Asian curriculum schools, which hold final exams in March and April, special decisions had to be adopted. This meant that assessments for students in non-board exam years had to be cancelled, with grades being calculated as the average score from previous assessments.

A directive issued last week by educational authorities in the country however allowed board exams to go as scheduled. At the same time, schools were instructed to implement stringent infection control measures, including ensuring that there are only 15 students in a single exam hall, and requiring parents to drop off and pick up their children. Exam halls also have to be sanitised with approved disinfectants.

Board exams continue

The first board exam following school closures in the UAE was conducted yesterday for students under the CBSE board. CBSE board exams began on February 15 for students at 78 schools following the curriculum in the UAE.

“Our Grade 12 students attended their Chemistry exam yesterday. The next paper is Grade 10 Math Standard, scheduled for March 12,” Pagdiwalla said.

Meanwhile, exams will begin on March 10 for students following the Kerala State Board, said Dr VV Abdulkader, prinicipal at The Model School in Abu Dhabi.

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Dr VV Abdul Kader, principal at The Model School in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

“Theory exams will finish by March 25, and then there will be practical exams till March 28. A total of 337 students will appear for the assessments. Meanwhile, we have cancelled internal exams for all other grades, and will automatically promote all students enrolled up to Grade 6. For older students, we will calculate the average of their previous grades during the academic year,” he added.

At the Bangladeshi school, board exams are set to start on April 1, and continue until May 13.

“These exams are even held at the same time that the exams begin in Bangladesh, so we are glad to that assessments don’t have to be postponed due to the school closures. At the same time, we will take all required measures,” Hassan said.

Pakistan’s board exams have already been postponed this year, and exams are set to start on March 16.