IB board opts for dual-mode assessment this year, written exams only wherever possible

International Baccalaureate has 185 affiliate schools in India. Last year, it decided to cancel exams for class 10 and 12 students. This year it’s taking a different approach.

New Delhi: The International Baccalaureate (IB) has decided to opt for a “dual-route” to the May 2021 assessments amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This means written examinations will take place wherever they can be conducted safely. And in places where they can’t be held, an alternative route of internal assessments and teacher-predicted grades will be adopted, IB officials told ThePrint.

The IB is an international educational non-profit foundation that has 185 affiliate schools in India including in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.

Last year, the board decided to cancel exams for class 10 and 12 students and promote them on the basis of internal evaluation.

This time, however, the board is adopting a different approach across the world, which it claims has been decided on after consultation with the schools and keeping in mind the dynamic Covid situation.

“On February 4, the IB announced a dual-route to the May 2021 assessments. This was undertaken only after extensive consultation with our global IB community, including a survey of all IB schools,” an IB spokesperson told ThePrint.

“The IB is working with schools to determine which of the two pathways is best for their region: written examinations, where they can be administered safely, or an alternative route using a combination of internal assessment coursework and teacher-predicted grades, where they can’t,” she said.

During grade-awarding, appropriate attention will be given to the fact that learning was disrupted, she said. “Appropriate boundaries will be set for each route, building in generosity that reflects the disruption experienced in teaching and learning around the world and considering how grades are likely to be distributed in other large-scale qualifications.”

‘Generous guidelines’

While awarding the grades for this year, the board is also asking its teachers to keep in mind the fact that in May 2020, predicted grades were higher than the previous years due to the pandemic.

The IB board is also giving an option to teachers to request a different grade distribution in case they feel that their predicted grades are not aligned with the student performance.

“Reflecting the fact that May 2020 predicted grades were higher than in previous years, the IB will recommend generous guidelines within which teachers will be asked to submit their predictions,” the IB spokesperson said.

“Where teachers feel these predicted grade distributions are not aligned with student performance, the IB is developing a process that will allow schools to request a different grade distribution and provide evidence that supports their claim,” she added.

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