Cancellation of national exams won't affect graduation, enrollment: Nadiem
Education Minister Nadiem Makarim said the cancellation of the national exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic would not affect graduation or enrollment at higher levels of education.
Nadiem had issued a ministerial regulation on Tuesday prohibiting any form of examination that would require students to gather.
"The cancellation of national exams should not have any effect on the enrollment of new students to junior high school or high school," Nadiem said in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
The ministry has ordered schools to determine students' graduation based on their grades achieved during the past five semesters, with the current semester of their study only be an addition to the whole school performance.
The graduation of elementary school students would be based on students’ report cards from fourth grade, fifth grade and the first semester of sixth grade.
Whether junior high students make the grade, meanwhile, depends on their report cards from seventh grade, eighth grade and the first semester of ninth grade. Similarly, high school students' graduation would be based on their report cards from tenth grade, eleventh grade and the first semester of twelfth grade.
The grades of the last five semesters would also determine the graduation of vocational high school students, with some additional guidance from students’ portfolios and field practice reports.
Meanwhile, the final exams for junior classes would be replaced by online tests, home assignments and/or decided based on the student's portfolio and school performance.
Nadiem added that, since public school enrollment was mostly based on the zoning system, which requires public schools to prioritize enrollment for students living in the district, the cancellation of exams should not have much of an effect.
"[Enrollment] should [mostly] be determined by area. Merit-based enrollment can be based on two options: the accumulation of students' grades from the past five semesters or the students' academic or nonacademic achievements outside their report cards," he said.
More than 8 million students from 106,000 institutions of education had been registered for national exams this year.
The move to cancel the exams was applauded by National Education Standardization Agency (BSNP) head Abdul Mu'ti, who had sent a letter recommending such a policy to the ministry on Monday.
Nadiem has announced a plan to abolish the national exam and replace it with a different kind of educational assessment in 2021.
"The cancellation of national exams is part of the social distancing measures in an effort to cut the chain of COVID-19 transmission," presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said on Tuesday.