Students will not have to sit the NAPLAN test this year as education ministers decided today to cancel this year’s NAPLAN exams.
This is massive news for all students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9, plus teachers and parents. The yearly examinations were to be held between 12 May and 22 May 2020. A planned trial of the online version of NAPLAN, due to begin on Monday, will also be cancelled.
The tests will resume back next year.
Why cancel NAPLAN?
Ministers met via video link this morning to decide whether to cancel or postpone the test.
According to education ministers, the schools are busy enough during this uncertain time, making preparations for at-home learning due to the spread of coronavirus. They simply don’t have enough time to worry about NAPLAN. So, out the door, it goes.
They also cited problems with marking the test, the unnecessary administrative burden on already-stressed schools and the potential for lower participation, as reasons for the NAPLAN cancellation.
Here is what they said in a statement after the meeting, according to the Sydney Morning Herald:
The decision not to proceed with NAPLAN has been taken to assist school leaders, teachers and support staff to focus on the wellbeing of students and continuity of education, including potential online and remote learning.
Further, the impact of responses to the COVID-19 virus may affect the delivery of NAPLAN testing, including the operation of centralised marking centres and the implications for nationally comparable data if an insufficient number of students are available to do the test.”
No NAPLAN, but schools remain open
The education ministers also took this time to remind the public that schools WILL remain open at this stage explaining “pre-emptive closure of schools is not proportionate or effective as public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19.”
NAPLAN cancellation – good or bad?
NAPLAN has always been a bit of a hit or miss with parents, students, and teachers. Many believe teachers “teach to the test” and that it’s not an accurate representation of a child’s learning. Many also find that the tests bring unneeded stress to the children.
Others believe the tests are accurate, necessary and important to measure Australian students. Plus, many schools do look at the NAPLAN results when making their admissions process. I suppose, this year, they will have to do without. And, I for one, am positive my 10-year-old son won’t mind a bit!
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