UAE allows alternative assessments at UK, IB schools this academic year


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Dubai: The Ministry of Education has decided to provide “alternative assessment methods” for international examinations for students of private schools that apply the British curriculum and the IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum for the academic year 2020-2021.

It tweeted on Tuesday that the step reflects the confidence in private international schools to prepare or adopt solid evaluation methodologies that benefit from their long experience in the evaluation procedures of the curriculum they follow. It also follows their ability build on the methodologies in light of the changing circumstances, the tweet added.

What could be the impact?

It was not immediately clear from the tweet if this meant that schools now have the option to not hold school-leaving exams as such as IGCSEs, A-Levels and those for IB Diploma and instead use alternative assessment methods, such as predicted grades and continuous internal assessments throughout the term.

What’s the background?

In the United Kingdom, major education boards have already cancelled exams for GCSEs and A-Level for local schools.

Earlier this year, IB had said it would offer a “dual route” for the May exam session, meaning written exams will be conducted where possible. Otherwise, a combination of internal assessment coursework and teacher-predicted grades would be followed, where written exams are not possible.

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Last year, IGCSEs, A-Levels and IB exams were cancelled in the UAE and other countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with students receiving grades based on a combination of teacher-predicted grades and computer models of their schools’ performance historically in the exams.


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