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In Valais, final exams are face-to-face

September 17, 2021

Original Article:

The original article requires translation. 

An almost normal end of the year. This is what the 1,100 final year students from colleges and business and general culture schools (ECCG) in Valais will experience as of May 20. Unlike their comrades last year, they will indeed have to take the end-of-year exams, which moreover is face-to-face. “It is important that these events take place as normally as possible. We have carried out an all-terrain organization, ”emphasizes Jean-Philippe Lonfat , head of the Education Department.

Secondary II students will take their exams in half-classes, and no longer in large rooms that can accommodate up to 150 students as was the case before the arrival of the Coronavirus . “There will be, at most, about fifteen students in a room. We thus avoid the risks that would be induced by groupings in large examination rooms, ”adds Jean-Philippe Lonfat. Two supervisors will be present each time. All the halls of the establishments will be used for these tests. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th year college students will therefore be on leave during these half-days. "Only 1st year students will continue to come to class, because they are still in compulsory education."

As for business schools and general culture, all 1st and 2nd year students will be on leave while final year students will take their final exams. “This pragmatic solution frees up space and all teachers can work for the supervision and management of exams,” explains Jean-Philippe Lonfat. 

Oral exams will take place, as usual, in the presence of the student, an expert and a teacher. They will end on June 17th.

Students in quarantine at the time of the exams may also be able to go there to take the exams. “We are working on a procedure with the cantonal doctor to allow them to take their tests in dedicated spaces with precise health rules. It is only the students in quarantine and not those who are in isolation, ”explains the head of the Education Department. For students with Covid during the sessions, they will be able to take the tests at the end of June or the beginning of July. 

The graduation ceremonies will take place in small committees. They will be organized for two classes at a time, in the presence of the students, the rector and the teachers who accompanied them. "There will be an official ceremony led by the directors with a recorded message from the head of the department, musical entertainment and a little convivial moment, but without outside guests", explains Jean-Philippe Lonfat.

At the HES-SO Valais Wallis too, the exams will be “as much as possible” face-to-face, underlines François Seppey, its director. Exactly how the exams will run - how many students will be in the room, for example - is still under discussion. “We have to interpret an article of the ordinance which gives us the possibility of making exceptions. We are clarifying these elements. ”

For teaching, the limit is set at 50 people and one third of the room's capacity. On the other hand, exceptions exist for examinations. "We should be able to have more students in the room, but we don't know exactly how many."

Internally, discussions are ongoing. “It also depends on the next decisions of the Federal Council. However, we will be able to give the information to the students early enough, ”adds François Seppey. More than 2000 students are concerned. The HES-SO Valais Wallis exams will start in mid-June.


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