Students signing petition to cancel MATSEC exams and adopt other grading systems


    Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

    Students have launched a petition to call on the authorities to find an alternative grading system if MATSEC examinations are cancelled in view of the coronavirus situation.

    Till today, the petition reached 400 signatures.

    By signing this petition students are requesting to be graded by assessment and teacher feedback. If the assessment doesn’t accurately predict the student’s capability, the teacher should recommend a potential grade for that particular subject and state if their assessment accurately represents their level of understanding.

    On the other hand, private candidates, that is students who do not attend a particular educational institution, that don’t have an assessment or teacher that can predict their grade should be tackled differently.

    It is being proposed that if private candidates have sat for an exam in the past, their grade should be upgraded by one level.

    In the case of a student who feels that a grade does not reflect their level of understanding in the respective subject, it is being proposed that MATSEC should create an application for a coherent test. A board will then determine whether the student’s grade should be upgraded or remain the same.

    Those signing the petition agree that a second session for MATSEC exams should still be held in September.

    Normally sn a normal second session, candidates can sit for a limited number of subjects.

    Students are arguing that this alternative system would be a much better alternative to postponing MATSEC examinations.

    On Sunday, The Maltese National Youth Council, KNŻ, sent an email to Hon Owen Bonnici explaining all of the Council’s recommendations regarding MATSEC Examinations in view of the recent developments concerning the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. 

    The KNŻ said that the 2020 MATSEC Examinations should be held in line with the proposed recommendations while taking into account all precautions deemed necessary by the Health Authorities.

    The Maltese National Youth Council is proposing the following recommendations;

    • All examinations should be pushed by two to three weeks, whilst not excluding the possibility of further delay
    • Enough time is kept for the sitting of resits and for the application into further educational institutions such as University
    • Oral examinations should be reinstated and scheduled for after the written examinations period, during the time when practice sessions take place.

    KNŻ stated that it should be ensured that adequate time between when the decision is taken regarding the status of this year’s MATSEC Examinations is made public.

    SDM has published a statement after carrying out an online consultation with affected students. In a statement on Tuesday, the student organisation voiced its concerns about the upcoming examination session. SDM highlighted that the students’ health should be a priority and said that exams should not be held if they pose any risk. The organisation also suggested that if exams are to be postponed that this should be communicated with immediate effect.

    Schools have been closed down since 13 March due to coronavirus outbreak in Malta in a bid to curb the spread. The organisation noted that students have not covered all of their syllabus. Furthermore, it urged the authorities to take into account the impact the current situation may have on the students’ mental health.

    SDM proposed that the examinations are delayed by one or two months depending on the evolving situation. It was also suggested that the resit session is delayed by two weeks as well as the enrolment to post-secondary institutions to coincide with the new schedule.