Monday, May 17, 2010

Dumb down exams give “equality”

From: NWE
The Ministry of Education (MEN) is looking at ways to ease the pressures of Polish high school students by making it simpler for children to gain promotion to the next grade.

The proposals have been met with fierce criticism from teachers across the country, many of whom feel that the level of marks needed to pass is already too low as it is.

MEN has backed up its plans by stating that moving up to the next year regardless of exam results already exists in primary schools, and it merely wishes to extend this idea to higher education.

“This change will allow for the equal treatment of students in this field for each type of school,” it said in an official statement.

One of the fears is that the ministry will decide to drop the compulsory exams altogether, allowing anybody access regardless of ability or the amount of work they have put in.

According to Prof. Martin King, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Rehabilitation at the University of Warsaw, “MEN may even cancel the assessment and pass everybody like flies. It could become so constructed that almost anybody will be able to progress.”

“Students should take responsibility for themselves and know that the transition to the next grade is contingent upon validation of each subject,” says Ronald Parzecki, deputy director of the Jan III Sobieski high school in Warsaw.

Such is the case that many students find themselves repeating a year - with some deciding to rise to the challenge to make the grades, and others deciding to leave.

“It’s just a sign that not everyone is suited to high school. But not everyone has to finish it” adds Parzecki.