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Andorra's Official Baccalaureate Test (POB), Covid-proof

September 27, 2021

Original Article: https://www.bondia.ad/societat/les-primeres-pob-prova-de-covid

The original article requires translation.

A "complex" logistics that has meant an extra "effort". This is how the director of the Department of Educational Inspection and Quality, Marie Pagès, described the organization of the Official Baccalaureate Test (POB) that began today and will last all this week and three more days from next. And it is that the examinations of the common subjects that normally did in the centers of baccalaureate of the Andorran school, this year, to fulfill the sanitary measures properly, are carried out in the Congress Center in Andorra la Vella. There were 220 candidates, 193 students from the centers and 27 free candidates. Only two of them had to be confined to their homes and from there they took the exams sent by e-mail at the same time as the rest of their classmates, and carried out "with all the guarantees". 

The students were summoned and distributed in groups in the Plaza del Poble and from there they were called with a megaphone according to surnames and addressed to the entrance of the Congress Center where passports were checked and assigned one of the two spaces enabled to carry out the tests, a protocol that according to Pagès “is working very well”. Before going down the stairs and into the classrooms, the ice is ready; and, inside, tables with the regulatory safety distance. 

"The pandemic has not affected the academic level of students." Pagès is convinced of this, as the centers have put a lot of effort into providing good support for young people in terms of the classes they have received on a virtual level when there was widespread confinement or when during the course it was they have had to do for the positive of some of their classmates who have forced them to confine classrooms. In addition, in September there was "the rescheduling of the agenda," he added, which has led to a reinforcement of certain issues and a prioritization of them. In his opinion, the students "are ready and prepared." 

Among the students, different views, although they have agreed that they are well prepared. Thus, Toni Riba, a high school science student, has stated that the months they were at home last year "have conditioned us" because there are subjects that require more attention, such as mathematics, and seeing them on the board helps more. . For Lluc Sasplugas, a socio-economic high school student, the confinement has been good for them to learn a lot from home because of the news and reports that were coming out. And if for Toni the difficulty was correcting the answers to the test because the Andorran system evaluates "by competencies", for Lluc the insecurity was given because you do not know if you are doing well in developing ideas in subjects such as sociology .

On May 13 they will know how this first assessment went and they will be able to register for the second, which will take place on May 19, 20, 21 and 31 and June 1 and 2. The final results will be on June 9. It will be then when they will know definitively if they have passed the tests and with the sufficient note to do Biology, in the case of the Toni, and Sociology, in the one of the Lluc.

Resources not ruled out due to error in the Education competition

The director of the Department of Inspection and Educational Quality, Marie Pagès, explained that Education does not rule out the path of recourse by teachers affected by a calculation error in the last edict to consolidate eventual squares and that caused two to be left out. Pagès explained that an information meeting proposed by Minister Ester Vilarrubla is scheduled for today to "give explanations and resolve doubts about the mistake made." Explanations that will be "as transparent as possible," he said, while lamenting the mistake, as the rules and specifications must be applied "rigorously."

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