The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport said the two days of lower secondary school examinations for the 2021-2022 academic year were successfully completed as planned. It has now issued instructions on health and safety measures for the Grade 12 examination, scheduled for December 5.

Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha told The Post on October 25 that the two-day Grade 9 exams were completed with the full cooperation of the testing centre committees, candidates and all stakeholders.

Kampong Cham provincial education department director Ly Meng San also said the exams went smoothly without any noticeable problems, and even though there was some rainy weather it was not a barrier.

"The juries and the examination committees inspected all 124 testing centers with no issues reported," he said.

Kong Samneang, deputy director-general of the Westline Education Group, said his schools had organised the Grade 9 exams beginning in July, and some other private schools had done it during July as well.

"For our private school's self-arrangement of the exams, we followed the instructions of the education ministry, which has a test subject issued by a committee at the head office and inspected by the [ministry’s] education department. We prepared the exam subjects and send them to the ministry for inspection,” he said.

He added that allowing private educational institutions to conduct exams on their own had eased the ministry's burdens, especially the financial costs of preparation.

"Private sector preparations for the examinations on their own have also helped reduce the education ministry’s costs, because the private schools would send their students to join the public school’s exams previously, which increased the ministry’s expenses. So I think the ministry should trust and allow the private sector to conduct exams on their own,” he said.

On October 25, the ministry issued operations guideline on health and safety measures for the Higher Secondary Diploma Examination for Grade 12 students, now scheduled for December 5, in order to improve health and safety for the testing centre committees, candidates and all stakeholders during the process.

The ministry instructed all stakeholders to follow the guidelines by establishing a sub-committee in charge of health. The testing centre committees must assign sub-committees in charge of health with the responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the situation for hygiene and safety while organising the testing and scoring centres, and computerised scoring and monitoring, while also evaluating the health implementation process for all during the exams.

According to Soveacha, there were a total of 174,726 candidates, 95,127 of them female, taking the exam. Among them 173,466 were general education students (95,127 females); 1,076 (192 females) were from the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP); and 136 (45 females) were retaking the exam. Twenty-nine of the students taking part were deaf, while 19 were visually impaired.

There were 1,723 examination centres with 7,816 testing rooms, he added.