The second wave of COVID-19 in the Sultanate has served as a disruption to all aspects of life including education.

With ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations around the corner, thousands of students, parents and teachers are nervous about what the grading format would be like.

I believe it would be best that the authorities implement a hybrid grading system, where the final marks are based on both online exams and past academic performances.

Online exams would carry 50 per cent of the total grades, with the systems then upgraded to meet the Cambridge standards, with special software to allow students to undertake the exams properly from home.

Chances of cheating may occur in spite of the systems upgrade, which is why the remaining 50 per cent of the overall grades would be based on past academic performances. These past results should encompass – but not limited to – the average of their first, mid-year and qualifying exam scores. Other metrics, such as coursework, could also be included.

Having a hybrid grading system ensures fairness in determining the students’ actual capability, thus minimising potential human errors or biases that may have arisen from other formats.

Understandably, there is a host of technicalities to be ironed out. Other policies can also be taken, such as implementing a predicted grading system or postponing the exams until COVID-19 subsides, which hopefully will take place next year.