Most of us educators are aware that major national examination ie. UPSR, PMR, SPM & STPM results are not creditable as the grades change each year according to the bell curve. For example, the qualifying mark for A this year could be 70 - 100 marks, while next year it could be lowered to as low as 60 - 100 marks. Do we practice this bell curve blindly? I would do away with this as it helps in no other way than to impress parents and gives a falsified feeling of pride to the candidates and educators. We are cheated into believing that we have achieved the so called fruits of labour when in reality nothing great has been achieved.
Some schools, matriculation colleges and universities are as guilty of adding marks to make the grades more presentable to the higher authorities. Some educators do this to make sure 'no students fail'. Where went the educators' creditability when this sort of attitude prevail?
I am a lecturer of 4 years. I was truly ashamed of some of my peers, who have obtained masters, to suggest topping up marks for students who failed to make the grade by other personalised tasks. Is this ethical? When we've got a centralised exam, this practice is tantamount to white collar crime. For the sake of making everyone happy, ethics and creditability are put away, only to be brought out again in the monthly staff assembly to be recited.
I put my feet down not to be subjected to this kind of unseemly behaviour. Let the learning take place in class and be tested upon in a creditable exam. I believe not in adjustable marks but in marks set for worthy examination canditates to obtain by virtue of their knowledge. An examination is an assessment anyway.
Some cite helping students as the main reason for adjusting the marks or giving other assessments to top up the marks. They have to bear in mind the creditability of the centralised exam as well.
Therefore, I'd say :
1. return the creditability of of the national examinations by setting the grades, never adjust them
2. educators must not adjust or try to top up students' marks in anyway, be honest
Posted by: sampuna, 21-Sep-2007