TVET guidelines on how to conduct exams during the Covid-19 pandemic
As some TVET students gear up to begin writing exams, the Department of Higher Education has released guidelines on how to conduct invigilated exams during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The protocols will guide Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and other post-schooling institutions to ensure safe exam processes and the protection of the lives of invigilators and students.
According to the Minister of Higher Education, the new protocol focuses on a three-pronged approach:
Before the exam: Preparation of the exam venues, materials and training of invigilators.
During the exam: Maintaining safety in the exam venue.
After the exam: Ensuring safe management of exam materials.
“There are two overarching aspects of the approach to mitigate transmission risks: optimising the engineering and administrative controls such as ventilation, distancing in the exam venues, hand-hygiene, training of additional invigilators, timetable management and regular cleaning and health screening; and individual behaviour, including the wearing of masks, distancing and using the HealthCheck self-assessment tool,” Minister Blade Nzimande said.
The ministry also announced that 10 fully furnished mobile clinic units would be rolled out to enhance health services and provide primary health care at underserved TVET, Community Education and Training (CET) colleges and university campuses.
The new “Protocols on Invigilation of Tests and Examinations during Covid-19 within the Post-Schooling Education and Training (PSET) Sector” was developed by the PSET health and wellness agency, Higher Health, which has been assisting institutions in managing Covid-19 since the outbreak.
Higher Health has trained over 13 000 front-line staff and 3 200 student volunteers to assist with screenings, education, referrals and other aspects of the daily risk-mitigation across campuses.
The minister has also stressed that the mental well-being of students and staff remains a critical focus area during exams when anxiety and stress naturally increase, especially during this year when the academic calendar was affected by Covid-19.
A dedicated Higher Health mental health 24/7 toll-free crisis helpline to get help is 0800 36 36 36.