The Ministry of Education has announced the preponement of the final exams for grades 7, 8, and 9, in response to the clash of the original exam schedule with the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Originally slated from 16 to 27 April, the second term exams have now been rescheduled to start on 27 March to circumvent the overlap with the parliamentary elections confirmed for 21 April by the Elections Commission. 

Schools have been instructed through a circular to consult with designated focal points from the Elections Commission, especially if exams are to be conducted on 20 April.

This alteration in the academic schedule is a part of broader changes introduced by the current administration, leading to the academic year concluding in April. The upcoming 2024 Academic Year is set to commence on 26 May.

The move to hold parliamentary elections on a Sunday, diverging from the traditional Saturday scheduling, has been defended by Fuwad Thowfeek, Chairman of the Elections Commission. 

Thowfeek cited a recent amendment to the Elections (General) Act, necessitating that elections be held at least ten days post-Ramadan. As such, 21 April is marked as the earliest possible date for the elections, adhering to this legislative change. 

The decision aims to ensure the election of a new parliament one month before the term end of the current parliament, thereby avoiding any administrative lapses.

The election date revision from 17 March to 21 April follows opposition from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) against conducting polls during Ramadan. Despite initial resistance, President Mohamed Muizzu ratified the amendment after its second parliamentary passage, leading to the rescheduling of the elections by the Elections Commission.