KSU expresses its concern that no alternative plan is being considered for the September Session at UM and the upcoming MATSEC examinations session in September. As it stands, resits of the January Session at UM and MATSEC exams are happening in person as per guidelines published by the office of the Superintendent of Public Health.
During our meeting with Hon. Bonnici, KSU repeatedly asked for a benchmark of active cases in the community and R-factor, beyond which extraordinary measures will be considered. Till today the Ministry for Education and Employment has not clarified this request.
Following a consultative joint KE-KPS meeting on Monday 10th August, the Council has written to the Superintendent of Public Health and the Minister for Health and asked the following questions:
1. What is the guarantee that the guidelines published by the Superintendent of Public Health regarding the upcoming Matriculation exams and the September session at UM will still be valid in a few weeks’ time when both sessions start?
2. What is the protocol in place for when a candidate results as positive following an exam?
3. What are the conditions required in terms of active cases and R-factor for students to return on campus next October?
4. If these conditions are met, what are the guidelines for the University of Malta to follow so as to ensure that it is safe for students to return on campus and what is the protocol in place for when there is an active case or transmission of COVID-19 at UM?
5. What is the number of active cases/rate of transmission required for extraordinary measures to be considered vis-a-vis the next academic year and the upcoming examination sessions?
As of today, these questions remain unanswered. This uncertainty is leading to anxiety for thousands of students who are currently preparing for exams that will either determine their progression in their respective courses or their entry into University.
KSU appeals to the University of Malta and the relevant authorities in Government, to reconsider the decision of holding exams on campus and to publish an alternative plan for the upcoming MATSEC and September Session examinations. In this unprecedented and volatile period, constant communication is a pre-requisite to ensure that students’ wellbeing is safeguarded.