英文

Study Abroad : A disaster for crammers

【明報專訊】NOW three in four children live in countries where all classrooms are closed. While some students are only too glad to binge-watch Netflix or play Minecraft, others are deeply worried about what this lost period of face-to-face learning will mean for their education. As I mentioned last month, A-level exams have been fully cancelled unlike the DSE. Now exam boards are relying upon schools and teachers to produce a centre assessment grade (CAG) for each pupil and put them in rank order for each subject confidentially, based on existing scores and data, which will then be moderated by exam boards and published in August. Students who are dissatisfied with this grade will be able to sit an exam as soon as possible or next summer.

This is perhaps the most sensible solution given the circumstances. Or is it? Although exam regulator Ofqual has already stated that no schools are required to set extra exams to determine these grades, some schools, including mine, are organising assessments for pupils to sit at home. There are several problems with this arrangement. First, these assessments will not be reflective of the pupil's ability, given that they could cheat easily with internet access and that the revision period has been severely disrupted and shortened. More importantly, it is deeply unfair as many other schools in the country are not having these assessments and taking into account work completed after school closure, meaning that those students will not have a chance to improve their calculated grades. As one parent put it, you wouldn't have a race where some runners are allowed to run for longer than others. This is a disaster for those who have slacked off for the last two years and who were counting on cramming at the last minute and doing well in the real exams.

How is your school or company coping with this crisis? Let me know in an email!

■Writer's Profile

Alice has been boarding in the UK for more than five years and is currently applying for British and American universities. A lover of languages, she studies French, Japanese, Latin, Ancient Greek, etc.

Email: sze.ayw@gmail.com

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