The Ministry of Education and the Overseas Examinations Commission (OEC) are reporting that guidelines have been put in place to facilitate candidates suspected of or who are COVID-19 positive to sit their examinations.

This will apply to the May/June 2022 CXC, City and Guilds, and NCTVET written examinations.

Following a release from the Ministry of Health and Wellness that outlines a summary of guidelines for the sitting of local and external examinations for candidates with COVID-19, the ministry and the OEC say they have mobilised resources and the necessary communication to stakeholders.

The guidelines to be observed during the examinations period are listed below:  

* Another classroom must be designated for COVID positive students and be deemed an isolation room. This room should not house suspected students, be separate from the main examination rooms, and be well ventilated. 

* There should be no interaction among persons in the isolation room. 

* Desks and chairs must be placed at least six feet apart. 

* The students, as well as the staff attending to suspected/COVID positive students, must wear a surgical or a Kn95 or a Kn94 mask for the entire duration of the examination and while at the facility. 

* Students and staff assigned to the isolation areas should leave the facility immediately after the examination ends. The exit time for the other students should be staggered to allow the students and staff in the isolation area to exit the premises. This process must be strictly monitored to avoid mixing of the groups. 

* All students and staff entering this room must have their hands sanitised immediately upon entering the classroom, and hand sanitisers must be placed on each desk. Hands must be sanitised as the need arises (including the touching of the face, mask, nose, handling of papers and writing instruments to be handed over to invigilators) and in addition when the student is leaving the classroom or getting up from the desk. 

* Invigilators must have their hands sanitised immediately after handling examination papers and or examination gadgets and as often as may be necessary. 

* The classroom must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as per the MOHW Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines as soon as it becomes unoccupied, and the cleaning tools (wiping cloths, mops and buckets) and personal protective equipment used for this area must not be used elsewhere. Equipment should be cleaned and disinfected at the end of each session. 

The OEC is reminding schools, centres and examinations supervisors that these guidelines apply to all schools and centres.

No variation of the guidelines should be instituted unless prior consultation was done with the OEC and the ministries of education and health.