Showing posts with label Examination Cheat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Examination Cheat. Show all posts

Exam Cheats Cheated: Tertiary Institutions To Do Quality Check

Widespread cheating in examinations in recent years has compromised not only the quality of education but also the quality of students passing through the education system and into the workforce. It is a serious development issue.

Here are some records of cheating:

National Department of Education's Measurement Service Board


This year, 2016, the government (through the National Department of Education's Measurement Service Board conducted a nationwide review of the examination process; to ascertain loopholes and recommend ways to stop students from cheating in examinations. The MSB did a good job with it. Have the measures MSB took to stop cheating worked? Probably, yes but not conclusive. 


The National Newspaper reported Asaroka Secondary School students bought exam answer sheets, only to have realised after the exams that the answer sheets were fake. Cheats cheated. The cheaters have got to be stopped from entering higher learning institutions. They are a waste of space.

[Please note that the newspaper report of the riot was not true. No riot had occurred at Asaroka Secondary School after the grade 12 examination according to the school principal in a Post Courier report] 

Indicatively the stoppage measures taken by the MSB may have worked. No reports of actual exam papers or answer sheets were floating around before the exams, unlike in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Given that MSB and the education department were criticised for being too complacent as far as cheating was concerned in recent years, they should equally be complemented this year. 

Well done Exam Review Committee 2016 and MSB.


These cheats are not going to have easy access to tertiary institutions. For example, the University of Technology has taken measures to stop cheaters from entering this prestigious institution. Prospective students wanting to attend UNITECH have sat an entry exam online

By making delivery of exam papers and answer sheets safe and secure and tertiary institutions (like UNITECH), 'standing at the entry gate and saying - no we don't want rotten apples in our institutions'  is practising quality check. The check makes the institution prestigious: admired and respected. 

Quality checks on students from the start of student admittance into any institution will stop both cheaters and those trying to bribe their way in. All higher learning institutions must do the background check, whether it be entry test (usually taken before admittance) or check on students' internal assessment marks (with secondary schools' academic principals) or other checks. It is about ensuring that hardworking student gets the place he/she deserves. This is justifiable, it is the right thing to do. 

Students Sitting National Examinations at Grades 8, 10 and 12 - Overall Increase of 4 percent 2015 to 2016

Here is a quick spreadsheet graph of the number of Grade 8, 10 and 12 students sitting for the national examinations in the country in 2015 and 2016.

In terms of percentage the number taking exams increased by the following percentages (rounded to the nearest whole number): 

  • grade 8 increased by 3%, 
  • grade 10 increased by 7% and 
  • grade 12 increased by 6%. 

Overall there was an increase of over 4 % in the total number of students taking exams at grades 8, 10 and 12.

The graph shows figures released by the education department (and reported in print media) in 2015 and 2016.  

On the other hand, the numbers of students passing from grade 8 to 9, grade 10 to 11 and grade 12 to tertiary institutions have remained relatively low. In 2015, the retention at each stage was shocking and has not improved very much.

For more information on examinations and related issues, check the following links:

Examination 2014 – Grade 8, 10 and 12Students taking exams

Examinations 2015 - 2016: Grade 8, Grade 10, Grade 12 Exams Papua New Guinea



Students Taking Exams: 63, 535 Grade 10 Students, 24, 710 Grade 12 Students and 124, 095 Grade 8 Students

A total of 212,340 students in Grades 8, 10 and 12 are going to sit their final examinations starting next week with the Lower Secondary School Certificate Examination (Grade 10).
A total of 63, 535 Grade 10 students will sit the examination which starts on Monday, October 10 and ends on Friday, October 14.


Following that, the Upper Secondary School Certificate Examinations (Grade 12) begins on Monday, October 17 and ends on Wednesday, October 26. A total of 24, 710 students are sitting this exam.

The Basic Education Examination will follow on Monday, October 24 and ends on Thursday, October 27. This exam will see a total of 124, 095 Grade 8 students throughout the country sitting for it.

Acting Education Secretary Dr. Uke Kombra, PhD said these examinations are very important for the students because they contribute to their final assessments for the year.
Click on the image to see 2015 figures 

“School assessments are very important because they determine whether students can be selected to the next level of education or get employed,” Dr Kombra added.

He urged parents, guardians and teachers to give as much support as possible to help students sit these examinations.

The Acting Secretary also reminded everyone to ensure that there is no cheating in these examinations.

“The penalty for cheating or assisting to cheat in the National Examination is Non Certification. I urge the External invigilators, Schools and Standards Officers to report any malpractices to the Measurement Services Division for analysis and action,” said Dr Kombra.

He urged all concerned parties to make every effort to give all the students and schools “a fair go” and to be honest and sayNOto examination cheating.
2016
“On behalf of the Department of Education I wish all our Grade 10, 12 and 8 students the very best in their examinations," said Dr Kombra.

NOTE: To compare the figures for the past years, click on the image or follow this link.

Source: Loop Author 17:45, October 8, 2016

GRADE 12 EXAMINATIONS - CHANGES TO THE NATIONAL EXAMINATION DATES

The Acting Secretary for Education Dr Uke Kombra has advised all the Provincial Administrators, Chairpersons of the Provincial Education Boards, Provincial Education Advisors, Church Education Secretaries, Principals of Secondary Schools, Secondary Schools Standards Officers and Board Chairpersons of Secondary Schools of the changes to the 2016 Grade 12 National Examination dates.


The changes were made because principals of some schools have not complied with the standard procedures used to guide students to select subject combinations. This situation has forced the Department to revise this year’s Grade 12 National Examination Timetable to be conducted for two weeks when it should have taken only one week.

The Secretary’s Circular Instruction has been issued on 7/9/16 to advise the schools and provincial authorities about the recent changes so that they can familiarize themselves before the scheduled Grade 12 Examination is conducted on Monday, 17th October to Wednesday, 26th October as shown on the revised timetable below:

Day/Date Examination Paper Time



Monday 17/10/16 Advance Mathematics 1 and General Mathematics 1 8 am – 10.30 am

Tuesday 18/10/16 Physics 8 am – 10.30 am
History 11am – 1.30 pm

Wednesday19/10/16 Chemistry 8 am – 10.30 am
Economics 11am -1.30 pm

Thursday 20/10/16 Language & Literature 1 and Applied English 8 am – 10:30 am
Geography 11am – 1.30 pm

Friday 21/10/16 Advance Mathematics 2 and General Mathematics 2 8 am- 10.30 am
Information Communication Technology 11 am – 1.30 pm

Monday 24/10/16 Applied Science 8 am – 10.30 am
Accounting 11am – 1.30 pm

Tuesday 25/10/16 Biology 8 am – 10.30 am
Legal Services 11am – 1.30 pm

Wednesday 26/10/16 Business Studies 8 am – 10.30 am
Geology 11 am – 1.30 pm

(For this year's dates click HERE)

Dr. Kombra instructed all examinations to be administered on the time and dates as published and not based on Measurement Service’s calendar 2016 as the new changes supersede the initial timings already printed on the Examination Booklets especially for History, Economics, Applied Science, Accounting, Biology, Legal Studies, Business Studies and Geology.

Any time other than the timings given will nullify the Examination and the Examination Marks will not be used for moderation of the final results.

The Secretary’s Circular also reminded everyone that the penalty for cheating or assisting to cheat in the National Examination is Non Certification, and the External invigilators, Schools and Standards Officers must report all observed malpractices to the Measurement Services Division for analysis and action.

The teachers are not allowed to view, read or access Exam Papers while conducting the exams. Mobile phones are also banned from the Exam Rooms for students and all school personnel. Principals and Deputy Principals must stay in school during all exams and enforce strict implementation of the schedule and abide by all Measurement Services regulations relating to examinations.

All concerned parties have been urged to make every effort to give all students and schools “a fair go” and to be honest and say NO to examination cheating.

PRESS STATEMENT
DR. UKE KOMBRA, PhD
Acting Secretary for Education

CHEATING: EXAMINATION BODY LIKE EDEXCEL, AQA (UK) OR NSW BoS (AUSTRALIA) CAN IMPROVE STANDARD



2015 Legal Studies Paper  Appeared Online Before The Exam. Source: Facebook

Past and present reports have indicated students bought exam papers prior to sitting examinations. Someone along the chain of conducting national examinations (preparing, printing, storing, transporting/storing and taking exams) deliberately leaked them to sell, a serious breach of trust.


Another area where not exam papers, but exam questions are likely to be leaked is during setting (or compiling) exams. Teachers and lecturers (the exam writers) who are usually swept away to set exam questions - are they trustworthy? 

Apparently, possibilities for tempering with these important documents are many. An article here explains where exam papers are stolen, the hotspots.

You may have realised that pinpointing a hotspot is quite complicated. Many people are involved. Education secretaries and ministers have failed to sort out this mess. No wonder it has been happening (and continues to happen) for many years.

2013 and 2014 were worst years of cheating. Many schools in Highlands were alleged to have cheated. Students in Enga and Simbu were left out of selection to tertiary institutions as a result. I remember Enga governor took that matter to court. School boards from two schools in Simbu alleged to have cheated also took the matter to court.

2014 Maths A Leaked Questions Discussed on Facebook
A clear case of cheating happened last year when a teacher admitted to be given 10 Maths A questions prior to Maths  examination. He later found out that those 10 questions appeared in the actual exam, word for word including the diagrams (Here is the link https://goo.gl/z21q9L).


A recent case was also discussed in PNG teachers' Facebook group. This clearly showed legal studies exam paper (screen shot above) was circulated on the morning of Wednesday 21/10/2015.

It is obvious (AGAIN) that papers are already out there  - in students hands - before they are taking the exam this year. What is Measurement Service Division (MSD) doing about it? What can the acting Education Secretary and minister do about this serious problem? 

These examples are not intended to 'rub mud' on those responsible for examinations in the country, but to highlight their ignorance. Though there were widespread instances of cheating in successive years, nothing was DONE to stop it.

Another area exam cheaters are having an easy ride is entry to major institutions like UPNG and UNITECH. Selectors seem to have no 'filter' for identifying cheats. Leaders at tertiary institutions have to stand at the door and identify who enters their institutions. Education leaders who do not want 'rotten apples' in their establishment must play their part.

2015 exams started off with acting Education Secretary giving stern warning after newspapers reported cheating in Grade 10 Written Expression exam. So, what is going to happened when there are instances of exam papers floating around before exams?

The acting Education Secretary must act his words when he said  “If a grade 10 or 12 student is found to have cheated, all the grade 10 or 12 students in the particular  school that the student belongs to will be penalised,” warned Dr Kombra.

His words have no effect if nothing is done. In retrospect, in 2014 Enga governor and school administrators in Simbu fought tooth to nail to have their students considered for certification and selection. They knew it was unjust on other students who did not cheat. Penalising the whole school is 'just over the top'. Are we likely to see the acting secretary's words vaporise into thin air?

Individuals involved in setting examinations to storage and delivery of exam papers are, seriously, jeopardising the whole process. They cannot be trusted any more. The signs are obvious, aren't they? But, we cannot go on blaming students, teachers, invigilators, principals or other individuals. Blaming ' that someone' in the system will not SOLVE the problem. If the education department wants to halt cheating, it has to start thinking outside the box.

Measurement Service Division (formerly Measurement Service Unit and Measurement Service Board) tasked to make examination epitome shrouded in secrecy has failed on its responsibility. This division lacks the ability to safeguard exam papers. It has failed to deliver successful examinations. It has - time and time again - failed the government it is serving. The buck stops with MSD. It, surely, needs to shape up or ship out. 

Prioritising this section of education division (MSD) is the best thing the government can do going forward - give it a fresh look. How can it be done?  Our leaders in politics and education do not have to look further than counties like Australia and UK.

Establish an examination body (an agency) that is independent from and separate of the education department: yet one that is task to improve standard of examination as well as protecting it from tempering. Enable the examination body to employ and place people in strategic (full-time) positions throughout the country to make it work. 

The examination organisation has to be empowered to  perform in all areas of internal assessments and examinations from elementary to secondary schools and tertiary institutions. The body must also be given the ability to collect internal and external assessment data and make informed reports. Overall, it must be a body that focuses on effective and efficient exertion of assessments and examinations, evaluations and reports.

Edexcel and AQA in the UK, and NSW Board of Studies in Australia  are prime examples of such examination agencies. They are separate examining and awarding body focused on maintaining examination standards from setting questions to conducting, marking, evaluating, reporting and awarding merits.

I do not think money is a matter of debate. The government has allocations for exams. Last year it allocated K1 million just for marking alone. MSB is a statutory division of the education department. There is funding allocation for it to function. So, there is no question about lack of funds. What is needed is a bit of foresight and the right human resource to make it work.

Examinations are culminations of years of work from all stakeholders. Why can't PNG have a body capable of delivering successful examinations? 

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