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National exams: How candidates are keeping safe from Covid-19

Leave a comment / By: manifel / 12 July, 2021 19:44:26PM
National exams: How candidates are keeping safe from Covid-19

It is normal that national examinations will have special regulations, which are mainly set to avoid any sort of malpractices by candidates.

However, things are different this year, because besides safeguarding the integrity of the exams, the authorities had to have additional – even more stringent – measures to ensure candidates do their exams in relevant safety of Covid-19. 

This year’s primary leaving examinations started today Monday, July 12 with primary school candidates and a tour around the different examination centres by The News Editor found an environment quite different from what we are used in exams. 

At Ecole les Poussin, a centre which hosted four schools in Gikondo suburb in Kigali City, supervisors arrived at the centre at 7a.m to prepare for the arrival of students, who started to arrive at 7.30a.m to 8a.m. 

Before entering the school premises, every student was required to wash their hands, ensure their mask is worn properly, and there were security guards on hand to take the temperature of every student.

From there, students lined up before their respective examination rooms for inspection before entering the room.

Unlike the norm where invigilator gives students a pat-down to ensure they did not carry anything other than accepted materials in the exam room, this time things were different. Invigilator were not allowed to touch a student.

The candidate was asked to empty their pockets before an invigilator.

At around 8.40a.m, all the students were in their respective examination rooms, waiting for the first exam to start at 9.am.

“Every supervisor is supposed to have a hand sanitizer, so that they can sanitize themselves before distributing the examination papers to the students. Also every student sits on his or her own desk, and there is a distance of more than 1 meter between them,” Samson Rushikama, the centre coordinator at Ecole les Poussin, told The News Editor.

He added that students were ‘very cooperative’, adding that many were excited about doing exams after two years of waiting due to the pandemic.

“They were eager to overcome anything that would snatch the opportunity from them once again.”

Safari Nsengimana and Stephanie Nesto Ineza, students at G.S Mburabuturo in Gikondo – another examination centre that hosted two schools, told The News Editor they are very vigilant and observant lest they get contaminated in the period of examinations.

“We have to wear our masks properly all the time, we are not allowed to exchange our stuff, and we are asked to wash our hands properly before we enter the school and when we are in the washrooms,” said Ineza.

Parents’ responsibilities

After the first exam, at 11a.m, students at the GS Mburabuturo centre left examination rooms all at once.

You could however witness a bit of lax, as some mingled outside, greeting and some wore their mask improperly.

This worried some of the parents who saw the situation, saying they should easily get contaminated.

“Parents should also take responsibility for advising their children not to put themselves at risk of contaminating the virus. We should as well follow them up to make sure they understand all preventive measures and practice them,” said Judith Dushime, a parent to one of the candidates.

She added that people living nearby examination centres should also be responsible and rebuke the students to observe all measures, including keeping distance and wearing masks properly whenever they are off the centres.

According to the National Examinations and Schools Inspection Authority (NESA), there are 1,021 centres for these national examinations from 3,135 primary schools, and a total of 254,678 pupils were supposed to sit for the exams nationwide.

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