Armenia: school leaving exams cancelled due to coronavirus, students will only take uni entrance test

JAM News
    JAMnews, Yerevan

In light of the state of emergency, Armenia decided to get rid of final exams for graduating classes. This was announced during a live broadcast delivered by Arayik Harutyunyan, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports.

Armenia declared a state of emergency on March 16. It was scheduled to end on April 14th. But seeing as the country was unable to stop the spread of coronavirus, the government extended the quarantine for another month, until May 14.

The “final bell” has been cancelled for high school graduates in Azerbaijan. This graduation event has been postponed indefinitely.

Those applying to universities need only take one exam. Which subject it will be in has not yet been reported.

University exams and the final bell

In Armenia, not only high school graduates, but 4th and 9th grade students are currently taking qualifying exams, the so-called “transitional exams.”

“We decided not to conduct transitional exams in schools for grades 4 and 9. Annual grades in all subjects will be summarized on the basis of grades received by students before March 13 and transferred to electronic gradebooks,” reported the minister on live television.

Students in general education schools and trade schools are also receiving their final grades. Those who passed their midterms in December are given the right to choose between their midterm grades and their final grades for the academic year.

High school students will receive their diplomas by May 25, and college students will receive their diplomas by June 5.

The minister says that the decision to issue diplomas on this date was made so that it would not interfere with summer conscription for military service.

“Under the conditions of the state of emergency, it is our first priority not to violate the process of conscription for military service and to make the most objective assessments based on the interests of students,” said Arayik Harutyunyan.

The minister says that the graduates’ final bell will certainly take place, but not on May 25, as is usually the case.

“As soon as the Ministry of Health informs us that large gatherings are no longer dangerous, we will choose a date and celebrate the ‘final bell’ on a grand scale,” promised the minister.

About the graduates

This live broadcast by the Minister of Education was long-awaited. There is less than a month left before the traditional high school graduation date. Graduates, despite the coronavirus pandemic, are still preparing for their university entrance exams. And many are awaiting information about how the system will operate this year.

As a result, Arayik Harutyunyan announced that entrance exams for higher educational institutions will be held in early July, and students will be able to apply from May 25 to June 15.

“Graduates will only have to pass one entrance exam this year. Those applicants who have submitted applications and paid to take several exams before March 15 will receive a refund. We must discuss this decision with universities. After the 30th, we will announce which students will have to pass what exams in order to get into a particular university.”

As far as the procedure for conducting exams, the minister said that examination centers will be opened throughout Armenia. To avoid overcrowding, a limited number of applicants will be allowed into the exam halls..

Applicants will wear masks while taking exams. Examination centers will be provided with disinfectants.

“The examination will be carried out in compliance with all safety rules,” the minister assured, and asked parents not to accompany their children to the place where they will take their exams.

What people are saying on social media

Armenian social media users were divided on the subject. Some support the ministry’s decision, while others criticize it.

Here are some of the comments people left:

“This isn’t education! It’s insanity!”

“No need to expose children to unnecessary stress! It’s not the end of the world. you just need to organize everything as much as possible.”

“This is absolutely the right decision.”

“If children are going to be evaluated according to their grades prior to March 13, then what was the point in distance learning? They still continued to study and receive grades!”

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