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“End of examinations not to be proud of” (sent 5 August 2013. Not published)


Letters to the Editor (Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Island Business, Republika) (5 August 2013. Not published).


Dear Sir/Madam

The Ministry of Education. no doubt under the instruction of the current Minister of Education, has been taking out advertisements listing their “achievements” over the last few years.

No doubt there has been considerable success in improving the percentages of secondary school age children, attending school.

However, one “achievement ” listed, the ending of national examinations, may well turn out to be a disastrous measure for the thousands of average and below average schools around the country.

As I have pointed out previously [The Fiji Times, 27 February 2010] having national examinations does not imply that children will be pushed out of school.  You will merely be assessing the performance of all children by one national standard.

Not having national examinations creates the very real danger that under-performing children and poor school standards (especially in rural areas) will not be picked up through the internal schools exams.

Children will keep moving up until they MUST sit some examination to qualify them for the tertiary institutions in Fiji or abroad.

By then it will be too late for those not achieving acceptable standards, most likely to be from the poorer schools and families.

I would urge Fiji’s education authorities and principals to urgently meet to discuss this issue, and urge the Ministry of Education to retain national examinations and the skilled but scarce assessment staff the MoE has built up over the years.

This is one policy which will be difficult to reverse by a future elected Minister of Education, especially if the skilled assessment staff have been dissipated or even lost abroad.

Professor Wadan Narsey

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