Education Minister Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) says he was forced to cancel two key exams- the Keystage Exams and the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA)- in the Virgin Islands amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This was a difficult decision to make, but I carefully considered the strain that has been placed on teachers, parents and students in adjusting to online education," Dr Wheatley said in a statement released May 31, 2020.
According to the Minister, the decision came after he considered that there are some students in the Territory who still do not have the tools to properly function via online learning.
"Though online education is working for many of our students, teachers have a challenge in ensuring students are always completely focused during lessons."
He said, therefore, continuous assessment will be used for promotion from one grade to another for those who will miss the exams. This will include projects, investigations, book reports, quizzes, classwork and kinesthetic assessments."
Dr Wheatley also noted that assessments will be dispensed throughout the term and many have already been conducted.
"This term will only be weighted as 20% of the students’ overall grade for the 2019-2020 academic year, with the Advent and Lent terms accounting for 40% each."
Meanwhile, graduation requirements for the secondary school students will have to be adjusted based on the impracticality of community service hours.
"Cabinet has decided that all graduation exercises will be done virtually. This includes all schools, both public and private, no matter the level of student or the size of the class."
Hon Wheatley noted that the measures are being done to keep the population safe throughout the COVID
-19 era. "Further guidance on graduation requirements and ceremonies will be forthcoming in the near future."