Gaborone — The national mock examination for primary, junior and senior secondary level has been rescheduled to start on August 17 instead of August 05, the Minister of Basic Education, Mr Fidelis Molao has announced.
Giving an update on the impact of COVID-19 on schools Saturday, Mr Molao attributed the postponement to the closure of all schools around the Greater Gaborone area due to the recent outbreaks.
Minister Molao also stated that the reopening of pre-primary classes in public schools which was scheduled for August 04 had also been postponed for the whole country until further notice.
He said the reopening of Special Education Units for learners with special needs had also been postponed until further notice for the whole country, to allow for monitoring of the situation.
Minister Molao said some teachers and students in the Greater Gaborone schools had been affected and subsequently placed under quarantine, thus all schools within the zone would remain closed.
He however highlighted that schools outside the Greater Gaborone zone would continue to operate as normal.
As the situation in the Greater Gaborone was still fluid and unpredictable, Minister Molao could not affirm the schools reopening date in the affected zone.
In light of the latest development, Mr Molao urged all schools to be extra vigilant and continue to comply with COVID-19 protocols, highlighting that close attention should be given to the transportation of learners to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.
He said parents should where possible transport students to schools to avoid over crowding in school buses, while also pleading with parents to support learners to access online learning platforms.
Depending on the unfolding situation, Minister Molao said all possible options would be explored including the adjustment of the school calendar, assessment time table and other approaches of assessment.
Botswana Examinations Council (BEC), Chief Executive Officer, Professor Brian Mokopakgosi indicated that examinations for all completing classes were ready as they were prepared a year before they were written.
Prof Mokopakgosi assured the public that all preparatory measures were in place for the resumption of Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), Junior Certificate Examination (JCE) and Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE).
He said BEC remained hopeful that the examination process would not be much affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as all completing learners were back to school apart for those in the greater Gaborone area who had been affected by the current lockdown in the area.
He said he was optimistic that students would be able to complete the school curriculum before the resumption of the examination.
Prof Mokopakgosi highlighted that the council was currently aligning the examination time tables with the reviewed school calendar after it emerged that some learning time had been lost.
He said BEC was striving to ensure that the 2020 examinations would be of high internationally competitive standards despite challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic.
Source : BOPA