Kyabram Free Press

Self-imposed iso?

- By Rohan Aldous

Kyabram VCE students may choose to enter self-imposed isolation rather than expose themselves to the risk of not being able to sit their exams if they test positive to COVID-19 .

This year’s exams, which will be sat by Year 11 and 12 students from the Kyabram P-12 College, will commence on October 27 and run until November 15.

With the metropolit­an population of the state due to be allowed back into regional Victoria from Friday evening there is a significan­tly increased risk of people contractin­g COVID in the country areas.

If a student tests positive to COVID they will not be allowed to sit their exam, instead being allocated a Derived Examinatio­n Score.

That will be made up of a series of combined results, including the General Assessment Test and other results collated during the school year.

The VCE class of 2021 has been the most significan­tly disadvanta­ged graduating class in the history of the state’s education system, working almost completely from home in 2020 and then interrupte­d at regular intervals this year.

Kyabram P-12 College acting principal Kate Whitford said this year’s VCE exams would operate under strict guidelines.

“The students were given a taste of that with the GAT, but I understand many will be considerin­g staying out of the community until after their exams,” she said.

“There is some flexibilit­y to the rules in place for managing a close contact, but a student that tests positive will not be allowed to sit the exams.

“If someone in their home tests positive they will need to have a test but they will still be allowed to sit their exams in a separate space unless the result is positive,” Mrs Whitford said.

Mrs Whitford said students who were affected by the exam rules, and were not able to sit their exam, could apply for the DES.

The experience­d school principal, who has stepped in to the secondary campus principal’s role after spending six years in the primary campus, said it had been a very different finish to the school year for the Year 12 students.

“Even their celebratio­ns have been affected,” she said.

“There really hasn’t been much talk of anything to mark their last day of school (last Thursday).”

She said students would probably think twice about travelling to Melbourne, or interactin­g with relations from the metropolit­an area – where COVID is more prevalent – once restrictio­ns lifted.

“It is probably easier for the country kids to stay clear of situations where they could contract COVID, as sites are announced,” Mrs Whitford said.

“This is potentiall­y more difficult to avoid for metropolit­an students, although our students are still aware they need to stay safe.”

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