Covid-19: Some Dubai schools hold online exams as cases rise

The UAE has been reporting a spike in cases for past few days.

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Many schools in Dubai are conducting their internal assessments online because of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

The decision appears to be taken because the UAE has been reporting over 3,000 Covid-19 cases over the past few days.

Several schools have been offering a blended learning approach.

Many pupils, who are attending schools in Dubai since the winter break got over on January 3, will be appearing for the examinations online.

Mohammad Ali Kottakkulam, principal of Gulf Indian High School, weighed in on the move.

“Several parents had raised concerns because of the prevailing situation, despite mass vaccination drive has gained momentum,” he said.

“We closely reviewed the situation and decided to respond positively. We’ve changed the mode of examinations scheduled in January for Grades X and XII, which was originally slated to be held in the school. Now, the tests will be held online,” he added.

The vaccination drive has gained momentum among schools. School managements are working in tandem with UAE regulators and authorities to ensure that they follow all prescribed measures to safeguard their pupils and employees.

Annie Mathew, principal of Gulf Model School, said, “We’ve planned online examinations for all classes except the pre-board for pupils in Grade X and XII.  Online examinations for the other classes are conducted using Google forms. Pupils can take the online examinations and upload their answer scripts on Google classroom.”

She added: “Teachers mark the paper with the help of online tools such as PDF editors. We share the feedback with pupils and parents through online open houses on a one-on-one basis.”

Schools are also using proven virtual platforms in a bid to keep a tab on pupils’ location and monitor their devices while they are appearing for online examinations.

Deepika Thapar Singh, the chief executive officer (CEO)-cum-principal of Credence High School, said her school is following a blended learning model. “Some pupils are attending the school physically and some are doing online classes. However, we’re conducting examinations, where all pupils are taking the examinations online. We use sophisticated software to keep a tab on pupils while they appear for their online examinations.”

Educationists reiterated that conducting online assessments required a different approach, as compared to a pen-and-paper exercise.

It involves changes in the way examinations are scheduled, designed, conducted, monitored and evaluated.

Sangita Chima, principal, Amity School Dubai, said: “We’re conducting assessments online for all our students using digital tools. All pupils, whether in school or at home, are being supervised by their teachers. Cameras are turned on while they’re writing their tests online.”

She explained that the examination would be conducted in two parts.

“Part A and B are objective and subjective, respectively. Our assessments test pupils’ skills. The examinations also help self-assess pupils’ own learning graphs,” she added.

Source – Khaleej Times