Arrangements will be made for students who arrive late for exams due to train delay: MOE

Commuters, who are mostly students, queueing to get a time chit from SMRT at Bishan MRT station on Aug 18, 2017.
Commuters, who are mostly students, queueing to get a time chit from SMRT at Bishan MRT station on Aug 18, 2017. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Education (MOE) has assured students who were affected by Friday (Aug 18) morning's train delays that arrangements will be made for those taking examinations.

Some students sitting the O-level and PSLE oral examinations were late for school due to the additional travelling time needed.

The North-South Line saw a three-hour delay while the Downtown Line was disrupted for about an hour during the morning rush hour, due to signalling faults.

This was the second day in a row that commuters were hit by delays during rush hour. On Thursday evening, there was a two-hour delay on the North South Line, also due to a signalling fault.

MOE posted on its Facebook page at 9.36am, telling Primary 6 pupils who were sitting their oral examinations not to worry if they had been delayed on their way to school.

"The PSLE oral exam is on schedule but arrangements will be made for those who arrive late. You need not pick up any excuse letter at the MRT station. Just let your school know. If necessary, you will be able to take the exam at a later time," the post said.

SMRT had given out time chits to affected commuters.

A time chit from SMRT at Bishan MRT station on Aug 18, 2017. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH


Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School pupil Shalini Kallimuthu, 12, who was supposed to take her English language PSLE oral examination at 7.30am, said she arrived at school after 8am due to the train delay.

"I came from Bukit Batok. The train (to Bishan) was very slow. I was rushing to come to school, and was a bit angry and anxious about it," she said.

"I was afraid that I might be the last one to arrive and my school would not allow me to take the exam. I was one hour late."

But she added that her teacher called her while she was on the way, and assured her there was nothing to worry about as the school would still allow her to take the examination.

Guangyang Secondary School student Anuar Abdullah, 17, said he was around 30 minutes late for his mathematics N-level preliminary examination. It was supposed to start at 8am.

He added that he lives in Telok Blangah Crescent and usually takes the train from Raffles Place to Bishan station, but was delayed on the North South Line on Friday morning.

"But I could still  take (the exam)," he told The Straits Times, adding that the teacher allowed him 25 more minutes for the test.

He said he waited for more than 10 minutes for the train at Raffles Place earlier, and that the platform was crowded.

"(The train was) really slow... and stopped (at some points)," he added.

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) said in a statement that it works with schools before the start of national examinations to advise and remind candidates to plan for sufficient travel time, and the actions they should take when affected by train service disruptions.

"Schools have been informed to assure the candidates that the full duration of the paper would be given if they are affected," said SEAB. 

It said that fewer than 10 candidates sitting for the PSLE Oral Examination this morning reported late due to this morning’s train disruption.

"They were given time to rest upon reaching their school before taking their oral examination, and were given the full duration for their examination," said SEAB.

It added that it is alerted by LTA to any major train service disruption during the national examination period.

"SEAB would like to assure examination candidates that they will not be penalised for being late if they have difficulties getting to their examination centres due to train service disruptions," it said. "Candidates would be given the full duration of the paper. They are also not required to produce any excuse sheet as proof that they were affected by the train disruption."

On its website, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) has instructions for candidates who are affected by train service disruptions.

Candidates who are able to make it to their examination centres before the end of the paper should still make their way there, where they will be given the full duration to sit the paper.

School candidates who arrive after the paper has ended or are unable to reach the exam centre must inform their schools immediately, while private candidates must report to the chief presiding examiner of the examination centre.

SEAB also provides a list of examination centres near MRT stations, which candidates can head to.