National exams to end week before Christmas
Approximately 25,000 school children are expected to sit their 2020 final exams beginning next Monday, 30 November.
Next week’s testing will start with students enrolled in Year 2 and Year 8.
But in a schedule for older pupils that has raised protest from some parents, those in year 12 and 13 will undergo nine days of final national exams, beginning on Monday 7 December and finishing on Thursday 17 December.
About 4000 students are expected to take their exams ending just eight days before Christmas.
The 2020 Samoa National Examinations timetable has been published on the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture’s (M.E.S.C.) official website.
The Ministry is hosting a countdown to the exams on their website.
Attempts to secure a comment from the Ministry before deadline were not successful.
For younger students, National Primary Assessments will begin on Monday, 30 November with Year 2 students taking tests in Samoan for the Samoa Primary Education Literacy Level (S.P.E.L.L.) assessments.
S.P.E.L.L. is the exam for students in Years 2, 4, and 6. Close to 17,000 will be testing for S.PE.L.L., according to a M.E.S.C. statement issued in early November.
On Monday, students will be assessed in spelling in the Samoan language. On Tuesday, 1 December, Year 2 will wrap up testing with numeracy.
Also on Tuesday, Year 8 students will begin examinations for the Samoa Primary Education Certification of Achievement (S.P.E.C.A.) with testing for Samoan.
S.P.E.C.A. is the exam for students in Year 8; some 4,400 Year 8 students are expected to take those exams this year.
On Wednesday, Year 4 students will take their science exams while Year 6 and Year 8 will be tested on their English language proficiency.
Meanwhile, Year 8 students will also take their exams for Health and Physical Education (H.P.E.) on Thursday.
Exams continue through Thursday and Friday for Year 4 (English on Thursday and Numeracy on Friday), Year 6 (Samoan and Science on Thursday and Numeracy on Friday), and Year 8 (Maths and Visual Arts on Thursday and Social Studies and Science on Friday.
Primary school exams wrap up on Friday.
For Year 12, the schedule is as follows: English (Monday, 7 December); Geography and Accounting on Tuesday, 8 December; Gagana Samoa and Chemistry (Wednesday, 9 December); Economics and Biology (Thursday, 10 December) and Mathematics and Agriculture on Friday, 11 December.
Year 12 exams continue through the following week with Computer Studies and Physics taking place in Monday, 14 December. History and H.P.E. exams are scheduled for Tuesday, 15 December and on Wednesday, 16 December, are exams in Design Technology and Music.
The last day for Year 12 exams is on Thursday, 17 December with Food and Textile Technology and Visual Arts.
Year 12 students will be sitting exams for the S.S.C. or "School C."
Year 13 students will begin exams for the S.S.L.C. with English on Monday, 7 December; Computer Studies and History on Tuesday, 8 December; Gagana Samoa and Biology on Wednesday, 9 December; Mathematics and Design Technology on Thursday, 10 December and Friday, 11 December are exams for Economics and Chemistry.
Exams for Year 13 continue through Monday, 14 December with testing for Geography and Agriculture & Development Studies. Tuesday is testing for Accounting and P.H.E.; Food and Textile Technology exams are on Wednesday, 16 December. The last day for Year finals is Thursday, 17 December for Visual Arts and Music.
There are no exams set for Friday, 18 December.
Parents have asked why exams have been scheduled so close to Christmas Day, 25 December.
According to a 4 November statement from M.E.S.C., exams for Year 12 and Year 13 were postponed due to the impact of COVID-19 State of Emergency (S.O.E.) restrictions.
"Due to the impact of S.O.E. for COVID19, the National Secondary Examinations has been postponed to December 07 – 17th. These examinations target Year 12 and Year 13 students from all 41 Colleges sitting their Samoa School Certificate (S.S.C.) and the Samoa School Leaving Certificate (S.S.L.C.) exams respectively," the Ministry said in an earlier statement.