560 out of 39,300 pupils take leave from quarantine to sit first PSLE paper

An invigilator distributing the examination papers in the examination venue for pupils on leave from quarantine, on Sept 30, 2021. PHOTO: MOE

SINGAPORE - About 1.4 per cent or 560 out of 39,300 pupils from 90 primary schools took leave from quarantine orders to sit the first PSLE paper on Thursday (Sept 30).

About 99.4 per cent of all eligible students sat the English Language written examinations, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday in response to queries.

That means about 236 pupils did not show up for the exam for various reasons.

On Sunday (Sept 26), MOE relaxed Covid-19 rules to allow quarantined pupils to take their national examinations this year if they wanted.

A rash of students have been given quarantine orders in recent weeks amid a surge in infections in Singapore.

They have to test negative for Covid-19 with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at the start of the quarantine order, and complete a self-swab with antigen rapid test (ART) kits at home and test negative within 24 hours before each examination paper.

They must also travel by private transport or on foot to exam venues, with no stops between the place of residence and exam venue.

The schools have to be informed that they are taking the particular paper so that the exam venue can be prepared.

Pupils must also inform schools by noon on the day they receive the quarantine order, and take the ART by 6pm on the day before each paper, MOE said.

MOE added that pupils who miss any national examination papers with valid reasons, including Covid-19, medical leave or compassionate reasons, can apply for special consideration.

It said: "Special consideration is a well-established procedure which awards candidates with projected grades through a fair and rigorous evidence-based methodology."

It added that the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board will consider multiple sources of data such as the pupil's performance in other papers in national and school-based exams as well as the school cohort's performance in awarding grades in this manner.

It said: "All special consideration applications are assessed on each case's merit, to ensure that the grades awarded are as accurate and fair as possible."

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