The Government of Manitoba has now chosen to cancel all Grade 12 provincial tests for the second semester in a row.

Just yesterday, a letter was sent to all school division superintendents across the province outlining the decision to suspend all provincial exams scheduled for June of 2021. This announcement follows one made back in October which cancelled all provincial tests that would typically be taking place this month.

The letter, sent by the Assistant Deputy Minister of Education, emphasized that the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic have led to unequal learning conditions. As some students continue to learn remotely while others have returned to school, the feeling is that standardized testing would yield unbalanced results.

“The implementation of a provincial test in this context raises questions around the fairness to students and the validity of the data if the tests were to proceed. The suspension of the tests in June 2021 will allow teachers to continue to focus on the COVID-19 learning and teaching response, and the mental health and well-being of students,” stated the deputy minister. “Teachers will continue with ongoing local evaluation of curricular outcomes and assign grades as per school and school division direction, thus ensuring support to students in their post-secondary endeavours.”

In an email, a provincial spokesperson outlined it this way: “Due to the impact COVID-19 has had on education, provincial tests for grade 12 have been cancelled. However, teachers will continue to assess their students at the end of the year.”