IB students in Hong Kong express frustration that exams will continue during Covid-19

  • Many have voiced disapproval, saying students’ mental health is suffering during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Online learning means students have lost valuable classroom time and are under more pressure to learn on their own
Amalissa Hall |

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Students in Hong Kong are frustrated the IB exams will continue as normal during the Covid-19 pandemic.

International Baccalaureate students in Hong Kong are frustrated following an announcement that the May 2021 IB examinations are going ahead as planned.

“The IB is working with schools to determine which of two pathways is best for their region: written examinations, where they can be administered safely, or an alternative route using a combination of internal assessment coursework and teacher-predicted grades,” the statement said.

This follows a consultation with schools via a survey in January.

Will online learning replace traditional schooling?

A spokesperson from an international school, who wished to remain anonymous, reached out to Young Post to represent his peers in response to the statement. He explained that many students are already struggling with their mental health as a result of the pandemic and online schooling, and the exams are making the situation even worse.

Students suggested it should be up to the individual to decide if they want to proceed with exams or not.

How to stop procrastinating with online lessons

The subreddit r/IBO has been particularly active lately, with international students voicing their disapproval of the decision. They say it is unfair for exams to go on as normal, considering school has been mostly taught online and they are under more pressure than usual.

One Reddit user, u/LieNo1330, commented: “I feel helpless. [The] IB has made a decision which completely ignores the fact we had tremendous loss of valuable learning time and opportunity.”

Another, u/peachykeen2002, said: “... after today’s decision I just can’t do it anymore. whatever it is that keeps us going has drained out of my body. I feel like I’m not living a life anymore, just going through the motions so that I don’t fail the diploma. I’ve never felt this hopeless and exhausted in my life.”

Is online learning better than face-to-face?

A number of petitions have been started calling for the cancellation of the upcoming exams. More than 50,000 people have signed their names, saying the exams should at least be postponed.

As of yesterday, all exams in the UK have been cancelled.

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