Schools adapt to ensure completion of exams after pandemic spike

May 07, 2021 - 09:00
Nguyễn Xuân Thành, director of the Secondary Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) spoke to Vietnam News Agency about online learning and examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic
A student studies online to prevent COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

Nguyễn Xuân Thành, director of the Secondary Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) spoke to Vietnam News Agency about online learning and examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many localities have switched to online teaching to prevent COVID-19 in the last weeks of the 2020-21 school year. This is also the time when schools are organising final exams and evaluations. How will this effect schools?

From experience of the previous school year and the educational institutions' plans, schools have actively implemented and are quite familiar with carrying out lessons online.

Regarding testing and evaluation, the MoET has issued guidance on online teaching and learning in education institutions including a provision for regular inspections and periodic assessments.

According to Circular 09, regular checks and assessment of students' online learning results is carried out. But with periodic assessment, even though they are studying online, students still have to attend school.

Circular 09 also stipulates that in cases of force majeure, at the time of periodic assessment, students cannot go to school. Now because of the pandemic, principals of schools decide to have periodic assessment in online form. Schools must take measures to make this assessment accurate, objective, fair and honest to properly assess students' abilities.

What must schools do to make the online teaching effective?

In order to perform online teaching, learning and online assessment, Circular 09 stipulates the need for a good technical infrastructure such as the internet, server systems, teaching and management software, a separate account for students to access, and so on.

When carrying out the online assessment tests, preparation still follows the principle of having the correct specification matrix with the requirements of the programme like the live test.

The only difference is that students will do it from afar on computers. Schools must calculate a plan that can monitor the homework process to ensure that the learning process is made by students, on time, in order to properly assess their abilities and ensure fairness.

According to the MoET’s regulations, periodic assessments can also be in the form of practice exercises or learning projects, assigned to students to work within a certain period of time, possibly at school or at home. If assessed online, students must present, exchange and protect so their abilities can be graded.

Periodic online testing and evaluation is still new, so any schools unfamiliar should prepare to meet regulatory requirements. Schools should be flexible and adjust their units' periodical review and evaluation schedules.

The high school graduation exam is close, causing many students and parents to be worried. Do you have an advice for the students and their parents?

For students in senior grades, schools will plan to end the year earlier so students can have sufficient time to prepare for the exam.

At this stage, the students in those grades are working on the final contents of the curriculum.

Reviewing has two important issues: systematising learned knowledge and doing exercises so that students can both deepen their knowledge and develop skills according to the requirements of the programme. With these two things, if they do it directly in the class, the teachers will not re-teach the lesson but assign the tasks for the children to perform, then the teacher comments, completes, and corrects the lesson.

Moving to online learning means instead of assigning papers and exchanging them face-to-face, it is time to switch to online. This is also an opportunity to increase self-study capacity. Students and parents can rest assured that we are preparing for effective exams.

With the move to online learning, will exam planning be adjusted?

It is already the last weeks of the school year. The school year timeframe will be completed on schedule, at the end of May. Therefore, if COVID-19 is controlled, the high school graduation exam can still be implemented according to the planned schedule. — VNS