Nambucca Valley students contend with HSC exam delays


“I THINK it’s very impractical as we won’t get our HSC results back until the time universities give out offers.

“I don’t think we will even go back to school to be honest.”

Those are the words of Nambucca Valley student Eden Kenny, one of many HSC students across the region displeased at the latest information released by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) regarding HSC timetables.

Last Friday, Sarah Mitchell, the NSW Minister for Education, announced HSC exams were to be pushed back to a starting date of 9 November.

“Due to COVID, we have been getting less time to efficiently prepare for our HSC with our teachers and this has made some students feel not as prepared as they would like to be,” said Nambucca Valley HSC student Tracy Nguyen on the changed date.

“The HSC extension is better for us to further plan and take action on how to tackle the impact of COVID on our learning and studying before the finals.

“As the virus has affected our last few weeks of school, I feel it is fair to gain that preparation back in the extension of the HSC.”

This is not the first time these critical exams have had their date changed.

This year’s exams were originally slated to commence on October 19, before being pushed back one week to October 26, then again to the most recent date.

Last year saw the exams pushed back five days from October 15 to October 20.

All of these delays have one thing in common: pandemic conditions.

Nambucca Valley students say the uncertainty over HSC exams is adding extra stress to an infamously daunting period of a young person’s life.

“I feel that this decision to push back the exams has not taken into account the detriment it will cause to the mental health of students across the Valley and the state,” remarked Nambucca Valley HSC student Lillah Hoffman.

“Of course I want to complete the HSC, but without it compromising my mental and physical well-being.

“Currently my school is not open to students and the only access I have to my teachers is through email or classroom.”

Lillah’s latter remarks showcase the challenges Valley students are facing with online learning.

However, that should soon come to an end when the final term of the school year comes around, with the rest of the current term of Term 3 being undertaken remotely.

October 25 will see kindergarten and year 1 students back at school, November 1 will see years 2, 6 and 11 return to the classrooms, while November 8 will see the remainder of students back on site.

While the return to the classroom is something to look forward to, Valley students are seeking certainty on exam timetables going forward.

“This ‘solution’ isn’t sustainable,” said Lillah.

“What happens if there is another outbreak?

“How far back are they going to push the exams?

“Instead of trying to force the HSC to happen, they should be looking at what can be done alternatively if there are viable alternatives,” suggested Lillah.

“This approach will benefit students more than anything, allowing us to show our abilities outside the constraints of a test.

“Essentially we will be able to devote our time to showcasing our capabilities instead of failing to study.

“Why is the government so against giving an estimate?

“If their only goal is to see us succeed then they’re not good at showing it.”


By Rhys GLEESON, Junior Reporter.

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