Press Release: 2020 National Assessments And National Examination Timetable Changes

Great consideration has been taken by the Ministry in its decision to push back the dates for the National Assessments for primary schools and the National Examination for SSC and SSLC.

In a normal School calendar year, all schools and specifically government schools have four terms and 40 teaching and learning weeks. This year however, has been interrupted by the closure of schools given Governments SOE orders, issued on the 20th March and schools re-opening on the 22nd June.

The Ministry understands the reduced teaching and learning hours and the impact this has on the coverage of curriculum across all levels of education. As such the decision to delay the assessments and examination to the 30th November – 4th December for primary and 7th – 18th of December for secondary will serve this purpose. The importance of sitting valid assessments and examinations depends highly on the assurance that students cover full curriculum content. 

This decision was made publicly available on the 23rd June 2020 to all Principals, teacher and School Inspectors including the Ministry’s website. Schools since then have rescheduled their school based mid-year exams to accommodate the new timetable for SPELL (Year 2, Year 4, and Year 6) and SPECA Year 8) and SSC (Year 12) SSLC Year (13).  A press release for National Assessment and Examinations was also disbursed to all media outlets on the 10th November 2020 and MESC website.

The Ministry is preparing to ensure that every health precaution and safeguard will be in place in conducting the assessments and examinations given COVID 19.  MESC will make certain that safe management measures will continue to be implemented in all venues during the national examinations and that candidates/students showing symptoms of flu, will be fairly assessed and if need be, sent home to recover

The Ministry confirms that there is no impact on the new re-scheduling of national assessments and examinations. Private and mission schools that break off earlier are also accommodating the need for their student to be at school during the days set for all examinations. The extra weeks are in fact used for revision to further prepare students for these assessments.

Experiences with the Measles last year 2019 which affected Samoa were a learning experience for the Ministry. The Ministry is mindful of the COVID 19 situation globally and in the event Samoa is confirmed with COVID, an action plan for assessment is in place. Any changes would be made publically available.

For parents, please note that timetables and schedules for secondary examinations have already been distributed to schools and that these can also be accessed on the MESC website

For future inquiries please contact ACEO Assessment- Funealii Lumaava Sooaemalelagi on email or telephone number 64600 (113) or Vau Peseta-Afamasaga (DCEO) on 64615 (115) or email

Afamasaga Dr Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata’i

Chief Executive Officer

Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture

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