Extra safety measures for the 172,000 eighth graders in Romania taking the National Evaluation this week
More than 172,000 eighth grade students in Romania start the National Evaluation on Monday, June 15, and the authorities have prepared special measures for these exams, aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
A total of 172,482 students have enrolled in the National Evaluation, and slightly over 16,000 of them are from Bucharest, according to data from the Ministry of Education. The exam starts on Monday with the written test in Romanian Language and Literature. The math test is next (on June 17). The following day, 10,294 students will take the test in their mother tongue.
The tests start at 9:00 and will take place in 4,337 exam centers. The first results will be announced on Monday, June 22, while the final results will be communicated on June 27.
The Romanian authorities have also announced a set of safety rules for the students taking the National Evaluation this week, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thus, medical teams present at the entrance to the exam center/education unit will perform the students' epidemiological triage. For example, they will measure the eighth graders' body temperature and, if the recorded temperature exceeds the maximum allowed (37.3 degrees Celsius), they have to repeat the procedure three times at intervals of 2-5 minutes. The students with a body temperature of over 37.3 degrees Celsius will not be allowed to enter the exam center.
There will be a special session for students who could not participate in the exam.
"Students in isolation / confirmed positive with the new coronavirus will take the tests according to a special procedure, between June 22 and July 4. Only graduates who have had a temperature above the maximum allowed, have been in isolation, quarantine, have chronic conditions that may increase the receptivity or severity of the disease in the context of the pandemic, or are hospitalized when the first stage of the national exam is held will participate in this session," the Education Ministry said.
The authorities have also equipped the examination centers with protective equipment and materials, such as disinfectant mats, protective masks, and hand sanitizers. The centers will be disinfected regularly, and the candidates will keep a two-meter distance from each other during the exam.
There has been some pressure in Romania for canceling the National Evaluation and the Baccalaureate this year due to COVID-19 infection risks. The Movement of Students in Romania – MER asked the government to cancel the national exams, arguing that the authorities couldn't guarantee the students' safety. Some parent organizations and TV stations have been supporting their initiative.
However, education minister Monica Anisie decided to go ahead with the organization of the national exams, saying that their cancelation is not even a theoretical option.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)