The upcoming MATSEC exams will be held as planned, Times of Malta can confirm, as fears over coronavirus prompted students to question whether the O and A levels would be postponed.

On Wednesday, Malta registered its sixth COVID-19 case, days before the exams are set to commence on Friday.

In comments to Times of Malta, Education Minister Owen Bonnici confirmed the exams will take place as planned as from the end of the week. 

The education authorities, however, are encouraging students to stay home if they feel unwell.

While in the past, students might have made an extra effort to sit for the exams even if they were unwell, in light of the coronavirus situation this year, they should stay home even if they feel up to sitting for the exam, Bonnici said. 

Students who are unwell can sit for the exams during the next session, in September.  

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The students, as well as examiners, are also being encouraged to comply with the health authorities’ instructions on good hygiene. 

There are currently no plans to change the format of oral exams, which involve a student and an examiner sitting in close proximity. 

There will also not be any screening of students before they enter the examination centres, as is the case at the airport or at the hospital. 

MATSEC is expected to issue directions on the matter ahead of the examinations. 

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