Excerpt from “Before You Blame The Students” …By Olayinka Ajila
a…From examination materials
Take answers booklet as a case study. Many times candidates are provided with inferior quality booklets that can be blown away by the slightest breeze. Again,when a candidate calls for an extra sheet in the exam hall or when he needs to fasten them, all that is available in this scientific century is a twine or broomstick. Then in the process of transfer, probably from the different agents who must handle them, different pages of the booklets fall out. And guess what, who cares?
b…From examination centers
On the issue of centers I believe you will agree with me that many of them should not be called one. The poor conditions of some of these centers do not qualify them for learning or studies and definitely not for examination. Some are so bad that thirty minutes is just too much for you to become extremely uncomfortable. Even many of the ones we label as standard I must tell you are located within zones of distraction. Some are besides markets, motor parks, and public event centers. In fairness to our children how many of them can be at their best at such examination centers?
On the part of invigilators are indiscipline, autocracy, and lack of commitment. A paper is set for 2pm that would last 3 hours but the invigilator shows up by 3pm and before he stabilizes, it is already 3:30pm. He kicks off with the word “start” yet, he wants to have answer sheets back by 5pm.Now,when he says stop, how many students dare say no?
Marking errors are another set of factors failing students And before we get it right we must answer the questions: Who is a marker? When, where and how should marking be done? These are funny but important questions that may just set things in the proper direction.It is no insult that among the so called markers are heavy drunkards! Pardon my unusual word but it is a dead fact.Two things happen under drunkenness Over-scoring and underscoring. Although the lucky students may have the former but I must tell you that the latter is on a much higher scale. This scenario lies under the question above: when should marking be done?
Every subject has a marking scheme and only markers who are majors in the subject can do well with or without the scheme. At times, a student may not certify the marking scheme but certifies the knowledge of the subject. That itself is a mark when there is no mark and only the ‘major’ can understand. I’m saying this to caution markers who give out scripts to their spouses, friends, and children to ease their workload. They introduce them to the marking scheme and unethically have them do a shoddy job. To me, I believe there is more to marking than the quackery of a marking scheme, and this is my submission on how marking should be done.
Carelessness in handling of scripts is a major factor making me ask where marking should be done. Markers move around with students script ‘everywhere’! It is there in their after-school shops, their handbags and even their cars where it is susceptible to unnecessary damage or loss. If the worst then happen, what happens to the students involved? If they must be considered in anyway, will they ever be scored a beautiful A? Is it not possible for a student to do well enough to deserve one? Therefore, considering how and where marking should be done, I think its time we begin to see to the establishment of marking centers.