Letter from Cambridge regarding the current pandemic

24 March 2020

Dear colleagues and friends in Cambridge schools in Southeast Asia,

I hope you are all well and staying safe during this challenging time. The situation with the Covid-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. In recent days, many more countries have decided to extend school closures into May and June, making it impossible for many of our schools to hold examinations. Earlier today we released the following update to all Cambridge schools worldwide:

May/June 2020 exam series: Cambridge Upper Secondary (IGCSE) and Cambridge International AS and A Level

We have been consulting closely with our global community of schools, who need as much certainty as possible at an uncertain time. Our priority is to protect the safety and well-being of our students and teachers, ensure fairness for all our students and support them in continuing with their education.

We have taken the difficult decision not to run our international examinations in the May/June 2020 series in any country. This includes Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge AICE Diploma and Cambridge Pre-U.

We recognise that students have been working very hard towards these exams. We will be working with schools to assess students’ achievements using the best available evidence. Students will receive a grade and a certificate from Cambridge International, given the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their programmes of study. This will ensure students do not face disadvantage as a result of these extraordinary circumstances.

We will provide guidance to schools on how students will receive those grades. We are talking to universities worldwide, and they are factoring these unprecedented circumstances into admissions decisions, so students can continue with their education journeys as soon as possible.

We are also aware of the impact the situation may have on student motivation and learning. Many of our schools are working hard to deliver teaching online to support their students’ learning. We will continue to offer a wide range of support and resources for schools, teachers and students on our dedicated pages on our website at www.cambridgeinternational.org/

Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Checkpoint

The May 2020 test series for Checkpoint will no longer go ahead (6-24 April). As an alternative, Cambridge International schools can access our Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Progression Tests and mark schemes to support their students. These are available for English, English as a Second Language, Mathematics and Science. We will provide more information about the impact of this decision on schools, including withdrawing entries on Thursday 26 March.

What’s next?

We will provide an update for schools on Thursday 26 March and as regularly as possible. We know that schools will need clear guidance very soon, and we are working around the clock on how to deliver valuable outcomes to students in the many countries where we work.

I sincerely thank you for your patience and for working with us to ensure the best outcomes for your schools and students. I encourage you to share this announcement along with a copy of our FAQs with your parents.

Yours sincerely

Ben Schmidt                                                             
Regional Director, Southeast Asia & Pacific