Some language MATSEC students who were quarantined at the time of their oral exam look set to be given a 0 mark for this early section of the exam, giving them a significant handicap.
Sam, a student who missed his Maltese A Level oral for this very reason, told Lovin Malta that the education authorities haven’t offered people like him a solution other than to sit for the oral in the September resits.
“The oral exam carries 20 marks, which puts me at a big disadvantage going into the written exams at the end of the month,” he said, adding that the situation is doubly unfair because he ended up in quarantine due to the actions of other people.
He suggested three potential solutions for people in his situation – providing an alternative date for the oral exam, giving a mark based on the total average of the A Level oral, or eliminating the oral from the equation entirely and being judged on the written section alone.
New PN MP Justin Schembri, a Maltese language teacher by profession, has written to Education Minister Clifton Grima to appeal to him to find a solution.
“These students are heading into their exams with a disadvantage because they won’t be given any marks for their oral exams, and this at a time when we’re working hard for exams to take into account students’ holistic skills, including oral ones.”
“It seems that this problem could be extended to [written] exams in a few weeks’ time, and it is therefore your responsibility to ensure that no one misses their orals and exams due to quarantine and that everyone is given an equal chance.”
“I have no doubt that you have students’ interests at heart.”
Contacted by Lovin Malta, Grima said he is looking into the situation.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Malta in 2020, the University of Malta and Junior College have allowed students who missed their exams due to quarantine to enrol anyway, conditional to them obtaining the required grade the following year.
What solutions should these students be offered?