Experts discuss plans for post-2020 high school graduation exams and college admissions

Thursday, 2019-09-26 11:10:50
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Representatives from the Steering Committee for the National High School Exam 2019 inspect examination marking at Ha Nam Province's exam venue. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Experts and lawmakers gathered at a meeting held at the Government Headquarters on September 25 to discuss the plan for organising and recognising the results of high school graduation and university and college admission exams after 2020.

The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also the vice chairman of the National Council on Education and Human Resources Development, along with members of the council.

Delegates focused on discussing the plan provided by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), noting that in the past five years, the renovation of the national high school exams has been implemented with a specific roadmap.

They affirmed that exam innovation is necessary and has been deployed in the right direction, focusing on making the evaluation of students’ performances more objective and honest, helping increase the chance for them to enrol in universities and colleges. Despite several remaining issues, the national high school exams have significantly reduced the pressure on students, families and the society, they stressed.

Discussing the tentative plans for organising the exams after 2020, Mai Van Trinh, head of the MOET’s Quality Management Department, said that it is expected that the exams in 2020 would be similar to with 2019, aimed at streamlined exams that help reduce pressure and ensure objectivity, reliability and capacity to assess students’ competence.

In the 2021-2025 period, the MOET is expected to make some changes. For the test subjects, all students are not required to participate. Students who complete the 12th grade programmes, if they do not wish to get a high school diploma but still meet the conditions prescribed by the MOET, will be granted a certificate recognising their high school completion. Only students wishing to get a diploma and apply for university and college admission need to take the national high school exams. The test content will mainly cover the current high school programmes, mainly of Grade 12. Students will still take their exams on paper, but at the same time there will be tests carried out on computers in accordance with the feasibility schedule.

Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha affirmed that the ministry would fully absorb experts’ suggestion to prepare for the high school exam plan after 2020 in a radical way, with a firm roadmap. The MOET will gradually deploy the form of computer-based tests in places where relevant conditions permit, while continuing to standardise and expand exam question banks and foster the capacity for exam officials.

At the meeting, Deputy PM Dam emphasised that the construction of the high school exam plans after 2020 should be deployed in a solid, active and urgent manner. The MOET should make clear plans for granting certificates of completion of general education programmes to students and delineate the format of computer-based exams in the national high school exams with the operation of independent testing centres organising multiple exams in a year.

Dam also asked the ministry to ensure standardisation in the progress of updating and expanding the exam question banks and organising exams on computers. After this meeting, the MOET should organise other meetings to collect comments from experts and the public also to formulate the plans before submitting them to the Government.

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