How covid-19 is affecting the performance of students in Botswana.
With the recent increase of the Corona cases in the greater Gaborone zone, and with the lock down which was initiated on the 30th of June this year, one cannot shy away from the major topic at hand, what will happen to candidates which were suppose to write their finale examinations, these include standard sevens, form 3s and form 5 respectively.
With cases reportedly over 800 and the current cases being 65 in the zone of greater Gaborone and still rising, one cannot begin to imagine what will happen to students as those in the greater Gaborone zone were forced to close because some of these cases were students in primary and some in junior school, it is no surprise to ask what will become of exam candidates now.
PSLE which normally the mock exams are held around these times, have not been written yet and with the examinations having been moved to November after the first lockdown which lasted for a month, the students lost time and many are still having a hard time with the speed of things. Fact remains that majority of these candidates are not prepared and the syllabus is not complete yet meaning that revision has not commenced yet, with the postponement of the exams it means that students will possibly be swamped with material and some even overwhelmed by it.
It is a necessity that candidates in Botswana have to write their mock exams in order to assess if they are well prepared for the final and also to give them a glimpse of what the final exams will feel, and look like, the sitting arrangement and the atmosphere of the exams. The students in the greater Gaborone zone have been home in the past 2 weeks and thus are far behind those in the rest of the country and this calls for alarm and to raise an eyebrow in the sense that mock exams are taken at the same time throughout the country as well as finales, now what will the government do to remedy this situation, will the skip the mock exams or will they just try and speed through the syllabus or a third option, which is to reduce the pass mark in response to the time spent in the lockdown by skipping the mock exams, the students will definitely walk into the exam room with some anxiety and exam fever since they were not exposed to the scenario, especially PSLE candidates who are first time candidates. The other solution is to use the mock exams marks as the final marks for the students in case there would be a surge in the COVID-19 cases like they happened now.
Looking closely at the students in high school and realizing that their agriculture projects, the plots, are heavily affected and having it supplemented with a third written paper, it's going to be strenuous for the students to prepare as they have to be taught in how to attempt the questions it asks as well as adapt to it, not only focusing on agriculture there are other projects like ART which are taking a hit right now, students are mainly doing ceramic work, sculptures, carvings and other non-drawing arts are at a server disadvantage as they risk having to speed through their work or worse, change their projects to a drawn project in order to try and have a completed project by the time that moderators come to access and award marks for their projects, mainly those affected being in the greater Gaborone area.
Although it is still unpredictable when the Corona virus will end worldwide it is fair to note that that students are paying a heavier price at the current moment and thus it is vital for the government to come up with a strategy which will be beneficial to the candidates of 2020.