Phasing Out Grades 8, 10 and 12 Examinations Must Be Done With Care


Phasing out examinations at Grades 8,10 and 12 can have serious impact on standard of education in the country - it will affect both students' behaviour to learning (study) and teachers' approach to teaching. 

This change (if it happens) will completely revolutionise, for worse or for better, the whole teaching-and-learning process. This change must be done with caution.

It must be done with proper planning and based on proper academic research or a special parliamentary committee findings. I don't think changing the system to meet some UN's Medium Development Goals (MDGs) is the best way. Compulsory education at elementary and primary schools and compulsory education at secondary school have to be differentiated when it comes to discussing educational changes and how each stage is catered for in terms of giving every child the best chance to excel in life.

As learnt from the curriculum change, OBE-1993, a change without clear plan is doomed to fail.Therefore, among the three main changes (Structural change 2016, Curriculum Change 2015, Examination Change) a clear plan must be set in motion prior to implementing it. The details, thereof, must be communicated to all stakeholders so that they also know what is expected, instead of expecting the unexpected.

We (by 'we' I mean the politicians, senior education officials and all stakeholders) must know what is actually changing, and not just about what is changing. So, what is the alternative to phasing out examinations? Will the 'new' assessment style be formal, informal or a bit of both? How will it be carried out and who will be responsible, teachers or Measurement Service Division?

I want to see improvement in the way examinations are conducted, I want to see spaces expanding and more students make it to Grade 12, but phasing-out exams, just,  to let everyone through without a rigorous assessment and or examination system may not be the best thing for our children now and in the future.

Here is what other Papua New Guineans are saying about this change.

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