While many countries made a major decision to postpone or cancel high stakes examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia decided to take the precautionary measures and run the exams.
The examination process in Georgia continued for nearly the entire month. During this period the Unified National Examinations, the Students’ Grant Competition, the Master’s Graduate Entry Examinations, and the Teacher Certification Examinations were held. The number of examination centers had been increased to follow the safety recommendations and place no more than 10 applicants in an examination room. This period has been a great challenge for the National Assessment and Examinations Center first, because of the responsibility to ensure the safety of approximately 70 000 applicants overall, and second, because of the responsibility to ensure the social health wouldn’t worsen.
The commission comprised of corresponding state authorities and supervised by the Prime Minister adopted the recommendations To prevent the spread of COVID-19, maximize the health protection of examinees, and simultaneously ensure high-quality management of an examination process.
Although the epidemic situation had a great impact on the examination process, the examination process didn’t impact the epidemic situation. There has been a case when an applicant who took the Unified National Examination on July 7 tested positive for the coronavirus. All preventive measures had been taken as fast as possible, the applicant was placed in quarantine and took the rest of the exams in line with the rules there. All individuals who took the exam with the applicant or had contact with her had been identified and taken under the supervision of doctors. NAEC strongly believes that the spread of disease was avoided because the safety recommendations had been followed urgently and strictly during the whole examination process as well as in this particular case.
Amiran Gamkrelidze, the general director of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health summed the process up. According to him, even though national exams represented large social gatherings, the epidemic situation in a country hasn’t worsened.
“I’d like to inform you that our country successfully passed this exam. The spread of infection hasn’t occurred” — said Gamkrelidze.
The fact that the month-long examination process with large social gatherings ended without major complication and the pandemic outbreak shows that the issued safety recommendations were adequate and absolutely necessary to deliver the result Georgia now has. It also shows that everyone responsible for the administration of the exams worked hard, were devoted, and strictly followed the safety recommendations.