It’s Exam Time

BY JETHRO JULIUS

73,000 students plus sat for the 2020 national examinations

I wish the best of luck to the Grade 10’s who are into the fourth day of examinations and soon to be followed by the Grade 12’s and Grade 8’s right across the nation.

This is decision time determined by the ink of a biro.

Nothing is more powerful than whatever is decided on your papers today. Whatever you write reflects how far you come as the student in whatever grade you’re doing.

Looking back at the life of a student in PNG, education is centered on Teachers versus Students.

The output of a student reflects the input by a teacher. The skill with which students overcome an exam is determined by the sum of teaching invested on that particular student by the teacher.

Many students today will enter into exam rooms with nothing in their head, nothing to draw answers from and nothing to conclude, given the questions, as most and rest of the schools in the country are faced with the unavailability of teachers, shortage of teachers’ resources book and major draw-back by the COVID-19 pandemic on the education calendar.

As has always been, the ratio of drop-outs to the ones who will be passing is real tragedy.

The average number of students passing exams and entering tertiary institutions remains a controversial issue to government and other stakeholders.

According to the PNG Education News, last year saw 72,124 Grade 10 students faced the Grade 10 national examinations while 30,711 Grade 12 students sat for the Grade 12 examinations, and out of these, about 30,000 grade students continued into grade 11 while rest were sent home.

For Grade 12, only about 20% of students were able to continue into tertiary education and 5% of them went into private colleges and technical colleges, while the rest were unable to find a placement for further studies.

What can be drawn from the last year’s results as it is seemingly a trend, and this year’s results may be no exception.

The goal every of parent is to see their kids prospering in education and success during examination is one of the greatest hopes a parent expects.

The parents know that their kids are given into the hands of people who will hopefully make them proud: the entrusted teachers, the school administration and the government of the day, who have the onus to take care of the children by providing the adequate teaching and learning in the classroom.

However, this has been the biggest let down on the parents.

We are living in society where teachers blame students for their inability to master skills taught, administration blames government for the subsidies, but we as parents whom can we blame?

Where do I quench the thirst for my child to be well educated and pass exams?

Children are passing through time and tide, but those officers, examiners, teachers, and government who dictate the exams are the ones who have been in the system and knowingly fail the students with their failed system.

Is this failed system PNG has been party to ever been debated and adjusted to meet the demand of the education system in place?

How long will this system continue to fail the students, parents and sponsors?

Politicians and education systems administrators are equally responsible for failing the students.

We will never rise to achieve the Sana’s dream, put explicitly into The PNG Vision 2050, unless the education system structures and teaching and learning method is well debated and augmented.

Again, I convey my Best Wishes to the Grade 10’s, 12’s and 8’s on their examinations.

It’s now or never. Give it your best shot, for your life of thousand journey starts now.

Published by Ples Singsing

Ples Singsing is envisioned to be a new platform for Papua Niuginian expressions of creativity, ingenuity and originality in art and culture. We deliberately highlight these two very broad themes as they can encompass the diverse subjects, from technology, medicine and architecture to linguistics, music, fishing, gardening et cetera. Papua Niuginian ways of thinking, living, believing, communicating, dying and so on can cover the gamut of academic, journalistic or opinionated writing and we believe that unless we give ourselves a platform to talk about and discuss these things in an open, free and non-exclusively academic space that they may remain the fodder for academics, journalists and other types of writers alone. New social media platforms have given every individual a personal space to share their feelings and ideas openly, sometimes without immediate censure. The Ples Singsing writer’s blog would like to provide another more structured platform for Papua Niuginian expressions in written, visual and audio formats while also providing some regulation of the type and content of materials to be shared publicly.

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