Scrapping of exams criticised as recipe for disaster

Education

THE Government policy to eliminate all examinations up to grade 12 will mean more students automatically reaching that level, promoting quantity rather than quality education, an official says.
The director of basic education in the Aitape-Lumi district, Frank Evans, said examinations must be conducted on all grades.
“The elementary system was an example of this, where there were not enough teachers or schools to handle the five and six year olds.
“So they recruited unsuitable teachers and put them into bush-material buildings with minimum training,” Evans said.
“Examinations and testing are vital to monitor a student’s progress in learning. It is the pathway to the next level of education for a student.
“The problem this reform will bring is that there would be too many students with a grade 12 certificates but there won’t be enough jobs to cater for all.”
Each year about 30,000 students complete grade 12 but there are only about 5000 places available in colleges and universities.
“The abuse of marijuana and homebrew in villages is widespread. Indulgence in such activities is an easy recourse for disillusioned students.
“My experience of towns in PNG is limited, but I am sure similar diversions are available there,” he said.
“Currently there is a lack of pathway to secondary education .
“The curriculum offered in upper secondary mainly consists of academic subjects like biology, geography and economics.
“In lower secondary, there are agriculture, practical skills and home economics plus English, mathematics, science and social sciences.”

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