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Saturday March 2nd, 2024

New grading system for London (Cambridge) O/L, A/L, other students missing June exams

ECONOMYNEXT – Cambridge Assessment International Education has introduced a new grading system for students, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the exams that were scheduled for June this year.

Issuing a statement to all Cambridge International schools worldwide, the University of Cambridge announced that the exams of the Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge IPQ or Cambridge Pre-U syllabuses scheduled for June 2020 are canceled due to the pandemic.

The institute stated the grades will be given after taking an evidence-based decision about grades for each candidate in each subject. The process will be carried out in four steps.

  1. Centre determines a predicted grade for each candidate for each syllabus entered

– Teachers use evidence and judgement to grade every student entered in each syllabus in their center, to produce predicted grades

2. Centre determines a rank order of its candidates within each grade for each syllabus

– Teachers rank students based on expected attainment within each grade in each syllabus

3. Head of Centre confirms the predicted grades and rank orders, and Centre sends them to Cambridge International

– Head of center confirms predicted grades and rank orders for each syllabus and sends to Cambridge International

4. Cambridge International carries out a standardization process, combining data from the school with other data, and awards final grades.

– Cambridge International carries out a standardization process, combining data from the center with other data, and awards final grades

All the schools and institutions under the Cambridge Assessment International Education have been asked to follow the guidelines issued by the institute and submit the relevant details on or before May 29, 2020.

“We are working to adapt our IT systems to collect grades and rank orders in a way that is as simple as possible for schools. We will provide detailed instructions about how and when to submit the data as soon as possible. The deadline will not be earlier than 29 May 2020 and schools will have a window of at least two weeks in which to submit the data,” the institute said in the statement.

“In developing this approach, we have engaged with different entities worldwide, including other awarding bodies, governments and universities. We have also engaged with the UK government’s exams regulator, ofqual, which has developed a similar process for the GCSEs and A Levels taken by schools in England.”

If any candidate decides to withdraw their entries for the exam, they can do so from April 18 to May 01.

The institute further said the grades that will be issued for the June 2020 exams will have the same value as grades awarded in any other series.

No entry fee will be charged from any student who does not receive a grade in cases where a centre cannot give a predicted grade or a place in the rank order. Nor will there be charges for the June series for late entries until 17 April or withdrawals up to 1 May, the institute said.  (Colombo/ April 16/2020)

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Sri Lanka eyes SOE law by May 2024 for better governance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to pass a Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act improve governance of state-owned enterprise by May 2024 as part of an anti-corruption efforts following an International Monetary Fund assessment.

Sri Lanka’s state enterprises have been used by politicians to give ‘jobs of the boys’, appropriate vehicles for personal use, fill board of directors and key positions with henchmen and relatives, according to critics.

Meanwhile macro-economists working for the state also used them to give off-budget subsides or made energy utilities in particular borrow through supplier’s credits and state banks after forex shortages are triggered through inflationary rate cuts.

The government has taken billons of dollars of loans given to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation from state banks.

There have also been high profile procurement scandals connected to SOEs.

An SOE Reform Policy was approved by Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers in May 2023.

The Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act has now been drafted.

A holding company to own the SOEs will be incorporated and an Advisory Committee and Board of Directors will be appointed after the PCB law is approved, the statement said. (Colombo/Mar01/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 308.80/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 308.80/90 to the US dollar Friday, from 309.50/70 on Thursday, dealers said.

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.65/75 percent up from 10.50/70 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.90/12.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.15/35 percent down from 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent up from 12.30/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.30/45 percent down from 12.35/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.50/13.00 percent from 12.55/13.00 percent. (Colombo/Mar1/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.37-pct, Expo to de-list

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up 0.37 percent on Friday, and SG Holdings, the parent company of Expolanka Holdings Plc, said it was taking the company private.

Expolanka is the largest listed company on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

“Expolanka Holdings PLC has, at the Board Meeting held on 1st March 2024, considered a request from its principal shareholder and resolved to initiate the de-listing of the Company’s shares from the Official List of the Colombo Stock Exchange subject to obtaining necessary shareholder approval and regulatory approvals,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.

As per arrangements with SG Holdings Global Pte Ltd, the Company’s majority shareholder, it will purchase its shares from shareholders who may wish to divest their shareholding in the Company at a purchase price of Rs 185.00 per share. The share closed up at 150.50.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.37 percent, or 39.47 points, at 10,691; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.64 percent, or 19.59 points, at 3,037.

Turnover stayed above the 1 billion mark for the sixth consecutive day, registering 1.4 billion.

Crossings in Melstarcorp Plc (135mn) up at 89.50, Hatton National Bank Plc (64mn) up at 158.00, Hemas Holdings Plc (53mn) up at 75.00 and Central Finance Company Plc (26mn) up at 103.50, added significantly to the day’s turnover.

“The upward trend is continuing, with more retail buying also coming in, the number of trades was more than 10,000 today,” a market participant said. “Investors are looking for undervalued stocks and buying in quantities.” (Colombo/Mar1/2024).

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