Students should not be assessed 100 per cent on exam results

Prominent Suva psychologist Selina Kuruleca . Picture: FILE

Students should not be assessed 100 per cent on exam results because they have spent six months away from school and many would not be up to par in terms of syllabus coverage and understanding, says psychologist Selina Kuruleca.

She said she did not support the Education Ministry’s plan to have Year 12 and Year 13 students sit external exams eight or nine weeks after returning to school without conducting an assessment of their learning.

Ms Kuruleca said examination anxiety pre-COVID-19 was usually high and with the virus and no face to face classes over the past six months, “anxiety will be at an all-time high”.

“Students will be affected psychologically, socially, mentally and emotionally,” she said.

“Assessing the performance of the students is a complex task.

“Therefore, there is a need to use different assessment methods, including exams to assess the students’ performance fairly and objectively.

Subsequently, many important academic decisions will be made based on exam results so there is a need for an assessment, but does it need to be all 100 per cent examination?

“No, I do not support that and I implore the ministry to do a baseline survey — how many students were able to work on their worksheets, actually understand what the topic is, and were assisted when they were stuck.

“Start with a survey before deciding that 100 per cent examination is the assessment method that will be used.”

Questions sent to Education Ministry permanent secretary Dr Anjeela Jokhan on the comments made by Ms Kuruleca remain unanswered.

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