HSC exams to go ahead

By Daniel Hughes

Local students completing their Higher School Certificate this year have been assured the HSC is going ahead as planned in 2020.

The NSW Education Standards Authority board made the announcement last week, amid growing fears Year 12 students may have to repeat their final year depending on the amount of time the Coronavirus restrictions are in place.

While advice is yet to be given about exam schedules, the department has said assessments and learning would continue.

Principals or system authorities have been given the power to make individual decisions about school-based assessments, including the number of assessments, the tasks required to complete them and weighting of formal assessments.

Finley High School co-captain Niamh Mason was pleased with the announcement but said she expects changes to the exam block are likely to happen.

‘‘Currently we’ve been told we are doing the HSC although I suspect they might change the exam structure,’’ she said.

‘‘I was definitely happy when I heard we were going to be sitting the exams, I always assumed it was going ahead and I don’t want to sit it next year if that was the case.
‘‘Our teachers also think that some changes will come but at the moment it’s just good knowing we’re going to sit the exams.

‘‘I’m sure these next few months will have an impact on the exams and our HSC year; the longer it goes for the more implications it will have.

‘‘I hope we don’t need to sit the same exams as last year; I hope it’s modified.’’

With students having the option to access their classes online throughout NSW, Niamh said it levelled the HSC exam field but rural students still face more adversity.
‘‘I think everyone is disadvantaged in the state with this coming HSC year,’’ she said.

‘‘We are a little more disadvantaged in rural areas than the city as not every student has access to phone service or internet.

‘‘I only have limited internet access which poses a problem with studying from home at the moment.’’

Niamh said it’s currently about having the right mindset in order to stay motivated when working from home.

‘‘It was difficult at first when we were told we’d be doing school from home. No-one knew anything and it was very confusing.’’

The NESA COVID-19 Response Committee is formulating responses and advice for students who have work placements for vocational education and training subjects, working on a group drama, dance or music performance and students who are completing projects and major works.

For up to date advice about the 2020 HSC visit Education Standards NSW.