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Raising Standards Way To Go In Students’ Pass Mark In Schools

The change in the pass mark for Year 12 and Year 13 announced by Permanent Secretary for Education Iowane Tiko is a positive move. It ensures that those who genuinely
21 Jul 2016 09:44
Raising Standards Way To Go In Students’ Pass Mark In Schools
Students of Jasper Williams High School during the opening of the Technical College of Fiji Lautoka Campus . Photo: DEPTFO News

The change in the pass mark for Year 12 and Year 13 announced by Permanent Secretary for Education Iowane Tiko is a positive move.

It ensures that those who genuinely have the ability to progress move forward.

Others who fail still have hope. They can take courses that suit them at the technical colleges that continue to be established by the Government.

It’s a catchment for those who drop out in secondary schools.

The change means that Year 12 and Year 13 students must get a minimum aggregate mark of 200 in four subjects. One of the subjects should be English. The English mark should be a minimum of 50. Last year, students were not failed although they did not reach the minimum mark.

The focus on English is a step in the right direction. It underscores the importance of English as the national language, but also as a form of communication not only in schools but in other aspects of national life. English is also the universal language and it’s important in many areas of our relations with foreign countries and international organisations.

Written English and comprehension appear to have suffered from a direct hit by the advent of the digital age. Some surveys reveal that young people are more interested in visual images rather than reading a long prose.

Reading needs to be reinforced in schools through well stocked libraries to help students develop their vocabulary and comprehension. It will also enhance their writing and their ability to read and understand questions in examination papers whether it’s mathematics, science and or English literature.

When the standard of English improves it will have a ripple effect on other subjects. It will help instill confidence in students and remove low self esteem.

As the education revolution continues, this is a timely change as we lift the standards to a higher level in our pursuit for excellence over mediocrity, quality over quantity.

We now have the environment to be able to continue to push towards an educated and smart Fiji.

When we reach a point where we can fill all our requirements for skilled workers and the intellectual capacity to carry out any aspect of national development, then we are moving close to the Government’s goal.

In the process, it’s inevitable we will have to lift the bar and the Ministry of Education has started doing it and it should stay the course despite political pressures from critics. It’s the way to go.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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