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Unis have faith in graduation exams despite coronavirus

Update: April, 28/2020 - 08:37


Twelfth-grade students in Hà Nội discussed the exams' results. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — With the school year ravaged by coronavirus-induced school closures nationwide, the all-important high school examinations are set for a slight shake-up, but universities want to stand pat.

The Ministry of Education and Training plans to use the high school graduation examination this year simply to recognise students who finish the high school’s education programme, instead of doubling up as the university entrance exam.

Colleges and universities will be allowed to enrol students using their own criteria instead of solely relying on the high school graduation examination’s results as before.

However, at a meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam on Monday afternoon, representatives from colleges and universities said they still wanted to base their decisions on the high school graduation exam results, leaving this year's crop of graduates in essentially the same boat as those in the past.

The representatives said they had faith in the examination’s results, considering them an important base for making enrollment decisions.

In the 2020 high school examination, candidates are expected to take three compulsory tests in maths, literature, foreign language and one optional test of combined natural or social science subjects. Of which, the natural science test combines physics, chemistry and biology, while the social science test mixes history, geography and citizen education.

When changes to this year’s high school examination were announced earlier, the ministry proposed that the natural science test and social science test each have an aggregate score instead of three separate scores.

However, at the meeting on Monday, Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ decided they would keep separate scores for the subjects like in previous years.

The move would help colleges or universities use separate results to make better decisions.

According to Nhạ, the 2020 high school examination will take place two days in August, about two months later than in previous years.

There would be fewer difficult questions meant for the most gifted students as well, Nhạ said. 

Besides taking the high school examination organised by the ministry for university admission, colleges or universities can run examinations by themselves or use their own ways to enrol students under the Law on Education and the Law on Higher Education which takes effect from July this year.

Deputy PM Đam asked the ministry to promptly issue examination regulations and publicise samples of the tests so candidates and their families felt reassured despite the severely interrupted learning due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

He called on the ministry to organise a safe, honest and high-quality examination so public would not be so confused about the examination’s changes. — VNS

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