Cambridge has announced that they have cancelled IGSCE and AS A-Level June examinations for this year in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The virus was discovered in Wuhan Province in China December last year and has gone on to become a global pandemic that has already killed thousands and made hundreds of thousands sick.
Please note this does not yet affect the October/November examinations.
Things are set to get worse and in a bid to slow down it’s spreading, governments around the world are shutting down their countries in a way that was considered unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Schools have been closed in the UK and in a lot of other countries too. In the UK, where Cambridge is based the government had already cancelled exams and said that an algorithm will be used to award grades based on pupils’ past performance.
Cambridge has become a popular board in Zimbabwe as people place less and less faith in ZIMSEC’s local examinations which are often plagued by scandals including leaks and cheating. It’s also not clear whether ZIMSEC will be written this year either. Also, private candidates will probably in a quandary over how to proceed.
Cambridge’s full statement on International examinations
The situation with the Covid-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. In recent days, many more countries have decided to extend school closures into May and June, making it impossible for many of our schools to hold examinations.
We have been consulting closely with our global community of schools, who need as much certainty as possible at an uncertain time. Our priority is to protect the safety and wellbeing of our students and teachers, ensure fairness for all our students and support them in continuing with their education.
Today, therefore, we have taken the difficult decision not to run our international examinations in the May/June 2020 series in any country. This includes Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge AICE Diploma and Cambridge Pre-U.
We recognise that students have been working very hard towards these exams. We will be working with schools to assess students’ achievements using the best available evidence. Students will receive a grade and a certificate from Cambridge International, given the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their programmes of study. This will ensure students do not face disadvantage as a result of these extraordinary circumstances.
We will provide guidance to schools on how students will receive those grades. We are talking to universities worldwide, and they are factoring these unprecedented circumstances into admissions decisions, so students can continue with their education journeys as soon as possible.
We are also aware of the impact the situation may have on student motivation and learning. Many of our schools are working hard to deliver teaching online to support their students’ learning. We will continue to offer a wide range of support and resources for schools, teachers and students on our dedicated pages on our website.
We will provide an update for schools on Thursday 26 March and as regularly as possible. We know that schools will need clear guidance very soon, and we are working around the clock on how to deliver valuable outcomes to students in the many countries where we work.