Year 12 to go straight to Year 13
All 2019 Year 12 students attending Government secondary schools will go straight to Year 13 next year after the Government announced it had cancelled usual entrance exams.
Previously Year 12 students had to sit the Samoa School Certificate (S.S.C.) exams in order to go on to the final year of secondary education, but the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) cancelled the exams following the measles epidemic.
Now the Ministry has advised that the 2019 Year 12 students do not need to sit for the entry exams and will go straight to Year 13 next year.
MESC Chief Executive Officer, Afamasaga Dr Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata’i, confirmed the Ministry-issued directive to all Government secondary schools in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“The Ministry advised all the government schools to let all the Year 12 students to go through to Year 13, taking away the need to complete the Samoa Secondary Certificate examination,” she said.
When Afamasaga was asked about Year 12 students who might need certificates as a reference for a job application, she said the student can still show his or her marks for S.S.C. exams that have been done to date.
“For those students they can show their S.S.C. marks that has been done to date, because some students have done half of their exams with the expectation of one or two due to epidemic.”
On the cancellation of the S.S.C. exams and if there was reaction from parents, the C.E.O. said the Ministry’s examinations division had queries from parents and they should understand that there is a state of emergency due to the measles epidemic.
“Which is more important than your life or your exams, your life because we want to contain the spread of measles,” she added.
Afamasaga told this newspaper the Ministry has 6-8 weeks to process the exams and these includes preparing, marking, data entry and totalling of scores which can take up to two months to complete.
“The decision was made and recommended to the Cabinet that the Ministry will focus its energy and time to ensure the more critical SSLC (Samoa School Leaving Certificate) is completed – as it will determine the future of students in the next level – so it is done first,” she added.
According to Afamasaga, the M.E.S.C. lacks capacity to process both the S.S.C. and S.S.L.C. exams simultaneously and in order to complete the process will need eight straight weeks.