Many of our nation’s adults believe that our education system is designed to make students fail. This conclusion has come about from many who have experienced shocking incidents of being told to prepare for specific content only to find the opposite on their test papers. Many persons would say that students must always be prepared because it was “clearly stated in the syllabus.” The reality however is that just as the Caribbean Examination Council prepares students with study guides; the students of internal exams should be given the same treatment.
Internal examinations and tests should never be viewed as intimidating nor should it be feared. It should be seen as a good challenge to measure students’ understanding of content and concepts. They should feel punished but encouraged to demonstrate depth of knowledge.
- Assess the students’ competency levels in the subjects of their choice.
- Place the students according to their levels of ability so that they can feel a sense of equity amongst themselves.
- Within the departments, plan and strategise how to share information and skills according to levels of abilities. Make the teachers revise/improve in their use of structures, strategies and techniques to promote the propter of information transfer.
- Organize the appropriate assessment tools that will be used to accurately measure the students.
- Provide study guides for the various subjects that students will be assessed on.
- Administer a mini-mock test/exam to create a sense of awareness of the structure of the paper/assessment and make changes where necessary.
- After marking, give a good informal feedback session with the students. Let them know their areas of weakness. This can also help teachers determine if they have not transferred the information properly thus helping teachers to review and improve on their teaching strategies.
It should never be that our students see school as a hostile place to learn. Many adults who have shared their bitter school experiences with their children have caused them to conceptualize what school is about. According to Marzano, et-al (1997), students come to school with attitudes and perceptions of what schooling is about and when the wrong perceptions are conceptualised, it makes learning very difficult. “Every child can learn, every child must learn” is the constant phrase used when published reports of students failing hit the air-waves. For the quoted phrase to become a reality then it is suggested that our educators use the steps laid out to use as a guide to remedy their school’s issues.
Even though we are a country with limited educational resources, let us provide a healthy productive learning environment for our students (Green, Henrequez-Green, 2005). Let us guide our students towards a more user-friendly education system for all to live work and be properly educated.
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