Class of 2021 Semester Exams
Class of 2021 Semester Exams
This petition is on behalf of the parents of the Class of 2021, regarding our children’s semester exams scheduled to begin January 11 online.
Seeing that these exams are very important for our children, we believe it is of utmost importance that they are supported in order to be able to perform well, as they normally would if they were be taking them at school face-to-face.
Although we understand the urgency behind needing to take our exams in the scheduled time online, this will be strongly compromising our children’s performance. Seeing that they did not take their semester 2 exams last year, the number of testing they took throughout their IB career has been very limited. Consequently, we feel they are not prepared for their final or mock exams. Conducting their exams online would be putting them in a testing environment that is not the same as the one they are expected to have in May, thus they are not being prepared and aided to perform well in their finals in that sense.
We agree that the following issues regarding online testing will be obstacles that will hinder their performance. The issues are the following:
1. Internet connectivity issues which stand as a complication they face everyday during online learning and has severely affected their education. They cannot be relying on the internet in Egypt for taking their exams, especially ones as important as these. This is in terms of being able to log on zoom on time without facing connectivity issues (which appear regularly), staying online for the whole exam time and being able to submit their exams. Not to mention the distractions that may appear that will affect their concentration such as going back on zoom after 40 minute spams and constantly being kicked out of the meeting due to poor internet.
2. This is not the environment we will be placed in during their mocks or final exams. In their mocks and final exams they are expected to be tested face-to-face in school, hence they should be placed in such an environment to be properly prepared.
3. Students' environments at home vary and may not be suitable for taking these exams and allowing many students to properly focus. Although they have been tested in their homes throughout the year, these are their semester exams and they cannot risk any outside factors affecting their performance. Some students have parents working from home, siblings, live near construction sites, etc. hence these are all factors that vary from student to student and will result in hindering their focus and performance.
4. Too many possible technical difficulties that will result in them needing more time to finish each exam, which would also result in messing up the exam schedule.
5. Seeing that all the other cohorts will be taking their exams at the same time online, any students with siblings will be facing strains on the internet, especially that the cameras and mics will be on hence will result in more expected technical difficulties that will only stand as obstacles and hinder students ability to focus during the exam.
Hence we support the following suggestions which include:
1. Postpone the exams till February 20. By doing so there will be a slight possibility that we might take them face-to-face. In the meantime they will be working on their TOK essays and their IA deadlines.
2. Merge the semester exams with their mock exams and take them face-to-face in school. In the meantime they will be working on our TOK essays and their IA deadlines.
Online schooling has severely affected our children’s education in terms of quality, although their teachers have been doing an amazing job and exerting so much effort, to which we are very grateful for, it remains a fact that their cohort is at a big disadvantage in comparison to others, hence we need solutions that will not be risking our children’s semester exams and grades. The semester exams is the last form of testing that will appear on their transcript and is a practice for their mocks and final, hence having them online with all these complications would be putting them in a setting where they will not be performing up to their potential, and we believe they must be supported in that sense.
Until now, there is a big question regarding whether or not they will be taking their IB exams, hence, in knowing what happened with the Class of 2020, their IA's are a priority right now. By taking these exams, not only will they be not performing well due to the copious complications and outside factors, but they will also be very tight on time in terms of working on their IA's hence will not be executing them perfectly as they should be (assuming what happened last year occurs again and their grade becomes based on their IA's).
We hope you help us out and understand our concerns. This is the future our children and they’ve been affected enough by this pandemic in terms of their education and do not want it to affect their final grades or college acceptance, so we hope you understand our concerns and help us find a more suitable solution