Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) Minister R.J. Simpson spoke with education leaders to discuss the NWT response to Alberta Education’s recent decision to make diploma exams optional for the 2020-2021 school year. After close consideration of the needs of NWT students and communities, as well as the operational realities of NWT schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education, Culture and Employment has decided to make diploma exams optional for NWT students.
Students and their guardians will be able to decide for themselves whether to write diploma exams during the 2020-21 school year. Students in diploma exam courses who do not write diploma exams will automatically receive exemptions and their school awarded mark will stand for 100% of their final mark.
This option will be available for the January 2021, April 2021, June 2021, and August 2021 diploma exam writing sessions.
Since writing diploma exams will be on an opt-in basis, those who wish to write the January 2021 diploma exams must notify their school by Tuesday, December 15.
• Students who wish to write the January 2021 diploma exams must submit an opt-in form to their school by Tuesday, December 15.
• If a student chooses to write the exam, the exam mark will be blended with the student’s school mark. The exam is worth 30% of the student’s mark and the school mark is worth 70%.
• If a student chooses not to write the diploma exam, their school awarded mark will stand for 100% of their final course mark.
• Students who choose to write a diploma exam but are dissatisfied with their mark are not eligible for an exemption.
• To find out whether a student needs to write a diploma exam to apply to a specific post-secondary institution, students and their guardians are responsible for contacting the post-secondary institution.
“The Government of the Northwest Territories is working with all of our education partners to create a supportive and effective learning environment for students. This decision comes after consideration of both the impacts of COVID-19 on the school system, students and their families and the way that education delivery has been modified for the current school year.”
- R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment
“Education Leaders agree with the decision taken by the Government of the Northwest Territories where diploma exams are concerned and appreciated having had the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. Equity for all graduate students, no matter their individual circumstance, is what we are striving for. Those students that wish to write the diploma exams continue to have the option to do so. We strongly encourage all students that are registered in courses that include diploma exams to carefully consider their choice of postsecondary studies and their requirements prior to taking this important decision.”
-Simon Cloutier, CSFTNO representing all Education Leaders
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