Special 2020 national high school exam hinh anh 1Contestants take national high school exam. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The exam began on August 8 and students sit for the exam’s first subject on August 9.

“The national high school exam this year takes place in the special and unprecedented context as the country is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha said.

Due to the COVID-19 impact, there are numerous adjustments and new regulations in organising the national high school exam this year – an unprecedented test in history. Students both study for the test and look forward to weather the exam takes place, the exam is organised in two phases, and test takers wear face masks during the exam and supervisors are equipped with medical protective clothes.

An exam, twice held

To prepare for the exam, more than 900,000 candidates nationwide had to show their efforts not only during the past academic year but also during their three years of high school, because the exam’s results are not only use for graduation, but also for university admission.

With managers, this is the only national exam on a large scale to assess the education quality of localities, thereby mapping out suitable policies for each region, province and city to push forward the country’s education quality.

With the exam’s important significance, the Ministry of Education and Training and the entire political system from the government, ministries, sectors and people’s committees of all 63 provinces and cities have joined efforts to thoroughly prepare for the exam over the past months.

Special 2020 national high school exam hinh anh 2The national steering committee for 2020 national high school exam’s meeting with steering boards of 63 provinces and cities nationwide takes place virtually. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

The COVID-19 pandemic breaks out as there are only a few days left before the exam awaited for a whole year takes place. The question on whether the exam is held has raised worries among the public, including students. After many meetings of the national steering committee for 2020 national high school exam with the Government, ministries, sectors and localities, the Ministry of Education and Training decided to organise the exam into two phases. The first phase is held as schedule, on October 8-10, for contestants with good health, while the second one for the test takers suspected contracting the novel coronavirus (also known as F1, F2 groups) and the contestants in the mass quarantine areas.

Accordingly, the test for all contestants in Da Nang city, those in Hoi An city, Dien Ban town and four districts: Que Son, Dai Loc, Duy Xuyen and Thang Binh in Quang Nam province as well as in quarantine areas of other provinces and cities nationwide, and test takers in the F1 and F2 groups will be delayed.

According to Mai Van Trinh, Director of the Quality Control Department under the Ministry of Education and Training, the decision to organise the exam in the current context is a multi-calculation to ensure the rights of stakeholders, especially contestants. Test takers carry out their rights – the right to take exam in accordance with law, the right to access health care, the right to take exam in the safest condition.
Le Ba Khanh Ngoc, student at Quang Trung High School in Hanoi, said when I knew the decision of the Ministry of Education and Training, I seemed to ease a burden.”

Special 2020 national high school exam hinh anh 3Spraying disinfectants at a testing location at Hung Nhan high school, Hung Ha district, Thai Binh province. (Photo: VNA)

Ensuring dual goals

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibility to organise the exam of the Ministry of Education and Training and people’s committees of localities doubles as they have to meeting the dual goals: ensuring safety for both security of testing locations and health of contestant and supervisors.

New situation requires new solutions. A special exam also requires special measures. “Previously, many activities were not available such as disease prevention, but they have been implemented closely and thoughtfully this year. We must attach importance to the health of students, parents, staff and teachers who are involving in the exam, and the health of the community in a broader manner,” Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha emphasised.

Accordingly, the ministry has issued a series of detail guidelines to localities on disease prevention before and during the exam.

It is the first time all testing venues are disinfected before and even after each day of testing. In front of testing rooms, there are hand sanitisers in addition to lists of contestants. Test takers are allowed to bring along a mask while supervisors are equipped with medical protective clothes to use in abnormal case. There are two back-up rooms in each test location. All contestants have body temperature checked. If they show symptoms of cough or fever will take the exam separately.

However, special solutions have special potential risks as hi-tech cheating gadgets can be hidden in masks. Therefore, supervisors are trained how to detect cheating. Contestants have to take off their masks for identification before entering testing rooms, and then wear them during the exam. At many locations, the testing councils prepare new masks to deliver for contests.

“Despite many difficulties, preparations for the exam have been completed. All testing locations are ready. I believe that with high resolve of localities’ leaders, the local steering boards together with consensus of students, parents and all people, we are determined to organise an exam of safety on security, equality and health,” said Minister Nha./.