The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
View E-Paper

St Aloysius College sixth form holding in-person exams after green light from health authorities

Albert Galea Monday, 12 April 2021, 12:51 Last update: about 3 years ago

St Aloysius College sixth form students will be physically present for their examinations after the school received approval from health authorities to hold the said exams in-person.

Emails sent to students by the school’s administration seen by The Malta Independent show that while the exams were initially set to be held online, the school later received approval to hold them in-person as long as a set of protocols rubber-stamped by health authorities are followed.

Students were advised that exams would take place online last Thursday, but were notified of the change in plans two days later on Saturday.

In the email, sent to all members of staff, students, and parents or guardians of St. Aloysius College sixth form, the school’s rector Fr Jimmy Bartolo stated that Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci had confirmed in writing that exams can be held with physical presence.

Therefore, the school confirmed that exams for first and second-year students will be held physically at school as per the already planned timetable which starts on Thursday 15 April.

Lessons in the days prior – between today and Wednesday – will still be held online.

“We strongly encourage all students to attend school to do their exams under normal examination conditions and to strictly abide by the exam protocols issued by St Aloysius College Sixth Form, which will be following the standards in the attached. We will give permission to students who are in quarantine or in vulnerable situations to do exams from home, however we expect to have very few such cases”, the email reads.

The protocols, which are officially issued by the Health Ministry and are updated on 9 April, set out various measures and guidelines which have to be taken in order for the exams to take place.

Under the guidelines, the examinations are set out as an “organised event”, and hence must abide with regulations for organised public mass events.

These include that each examination venue cannot hold more than 100 people (including students, staff, and any other personnel), must have adequate ventilation, multiple entry and exit facilities to the outside, and that crowds are not allowed to congregate outside the venues.

This being said, the guidelines recommend “that examination venue planning adopts the praxis of selecting and conducting examinations in multiple smaller venues as much as possible rather than larger facilities as a tenet of best practice.”

A list of 18 protocols are then set out governing the exams themselves.

These include temperature checks, hand sanitizer in all common areas and in the exam venue, keeping of detailed information of all those who enter the venue, maintaining of social distancing both outside the venue and inside – with desks separated by at least two metres, and cleaning and disinfection before the first exam session and between every subsequent exam session.

Invigilators, other members of staff and exam candidates must also wear face masks (covering mouth, nose and chin) for the whole duration of the examination.

Further protocols are set out for how to handle the exam materials and for entrance and exit procedures.

It is not clear whether similar arrangements will be used for other school examinations across the country – in particular the upcoming O-Level and A-Level exams.

Questions have been sent to the Health Ministry and Education Ministry.

  • don't miss