[WATCH] Schools to remain closed till June, special conditions for O and A-Levels

Schools closure extended to rest of scholastic year, O-level to be graded by predictive assessment, A-levels postponed to September

Education minister Owen Bonnici (right) with education directo Frank Fabri (left)
Education minister Owen Bonnici (right) with education directo Frank Fabri (left)

The closure of schools and educational institutions has been extended till June, which means they will not be re-opening for the rest of this scholastic year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Education Minister Owen Bonnici made the announcement yesterday, where he laid out a series of changes applying to O-level and A-level examinations.

O-level examinations will not take place in the exams session which starts as from 23 April. Instead, students will be graded by the MATSEC board using a predictive assessment method based on students’ mock exam results.

The MATSEC board won’t solely rely on the mock exam results communicated to them by the individual schools, but will be able to see the students’ marks, the corrected mock exams papers themselves, and the marking schemes utilised for the gradings.

The MATSEC board will then give the student an O-level certificate at either level 2 or level 3. Level 2 certificates will cover the traditional grades at 6 and 7. Level 3 certificates will cover grades from 1 to 5. These will also be used for the purpose of admission to post-secondary institutions.

In the interest of fairness, any O-level student, regardless of which level they obtained, will have the chance to sit for the O-level exams in a session which will take place in September.

“We are giving the flexibility to each student to decide for themselves. If they pass their predictive assessment, they will be given a level 2 or level 3 certificate. But regardless if they pass or don’t pass, they will have the chance to sit for their exams in September,” Bonnici said.


A-level and Intermediate-level exams won’t take place in the session starting from 23 April, Bonnici said. The A- and Int-level sessions will be postponed to September 2020, with students soon to be sent a timetable and all relevant details.

The sessions will be more compact so as not to introduce in the scholastic year starting in October.

Students will also be entitled to sit for a resit session in December. Students who don’t pass the required exams in the September session will still be allowed to start post-secondary courses at University and MCAST and other institutions as students on probation – they will then be able to do their resits in October, and if they pass, will be confirmed as students.

University and MCAST

In the case of university, exams will still take place during the normal June sessions, except for some exceptions where clinical placements or teaching practice have not yet taken place.

For the majority of courses, exams will take place during the normal time-frame, but students will not have to come to exam halls. Instead, they will be graded according to work they already submitted to the online VLE systems.

Medical students’ placements for final year MD students are already taking place in areas of the hospital which is not seeing COVID-19 patients. Once the placements are over, exams will take place within the normal timeframe as long as examiners are not too occupied with hospital work which has escalated due to the coronavirus.

For third and fourth-year medical students, their placements will take place in subsequent years. For MCAST students, assessments will take place online or through assignments.