Phasing out exams ‘bad’

The National, Monday July 18th, 2016

THE phasing out of Grade 8 and 10 examinations will not be favourable for the development of the country’s next generations, Lae Flexible, Open and Distance Education (FODE) coordinatior Nicky Raka says.
Education Minister Nick Kuman announced again last week that the lower grade exams would be removed to allow all students to reach grade 12 and sit for the one national examination for entry into tertiary institutions.
Raka said there were enough disastrous policies in education and Minister Kuman’s announcement was “an absolute killer” to the education system in PNG.
“Firstly, look at national Department of Education’s policy on local vernacular at elementary school level. It has had very severe effects on the literacy level from primary to secondary and university levels,” Raka said.
“Then there is top-up policy that over some years, primary schools have coped with it, however, extreme pressure was exerted on teaching and learning resources and is placed on secondary schools all throughout the country.
“If the minister’s statement was the Government propaganda, then this no-exam policy will definitely cripple teaching process in PNG regarding its implementation.”
Raka said another concern was student-to-teacher interaction which was not implemented effectively due to overcrowding.
Kuman announced last week that the department would phase out examinations at Grades 8 and 10 levels so that students can sit for Grade 12 exams only.
“Grade 8 and 10 certificates were no longer needed as employment prerequisites,” Kuman said.
“There are too many examinations in this country.
“We should look at phasing out some of those exams at various levels and allow one examination to continue.
“This should be the final and certification should be based on that final exam.”
He said in the next 10 years they would tighten the structure of the system and invest more in infrastructure.
He said the reform would allow the continuation of students from elementary level to Grade 12 and have only one exam in Grade 12.