The statement reads:
"Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic.
"As an organization, it is critical for us to ensure that the options we provide our global community of IB World schools are based on compassion for our students and teachers and, fairness for the difficult circumstances our students and educators are experiencing. We are grateful for your patience and consideration. As a result, the IB with considerable advisement from stakeholders across the globe including schools, students, universities and official bodies has determined the most responsible and ethical way forward.
"The IB will be taking the following actions for the 2020 May Examination session:
The May 2020 examinations as scheduled between 30 April and 22 May for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates will no longer be held.
Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes.
Full detail and FAQs will be sent to schools by 27 March 2020 (CET).
The move follows decisions made by the UK and Indian Governments to cancel (for the UK) or postpone (for India) public examinations due to take place in the immediate future.
Previously the IBO has said that it has been “unable to change the May 2020 exam schedule” but it has extended coursework deadlines for students in countries where schools are closed. It would now seem that with the spread of Covid-19 in Europe, where traditionally the largest number of IB schools are located – and the decisions of other international exam boards – the IBO has no other option but to cancel exams too.
A leaked letter had been circulated on social media on the 22nd. It said that the decision was made as the “most responsible and ethical way forward”.
The English Schools Foundation (ESF) in Hong Kong, where there are 30 schools offering the IBDP, made the following announcement on its Facebook on Sunday.
“We understand that the IBO will be making an announcement late tomorrow (Monday) afternoon regarding this year's exams. As soon as we have the details, we will make contact with all of our Year 13 parents.”
The two-year IB Diploma Programme is taken by students aged between 16 and 19, and is an internationally accredited qualification for entrance into university.
This article will continue to be updated as further news becomes available.