Unsatisfactory exam results leave capital students, teachers distressedABU DHABI: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has recently announced the results of the general certificate examinations of all government schools across the country. The results were unsatisfactory for many students, teachers and parents in Abu Dhabi. Some students remarked that they did not expect “such a bad result” as they thought the exams went well.
Students said the reason for getting low marks could be the fact that exams underwent stricter correction procedures.
A number of students in the third year of secondary school in Abu Dhabi complained that changes in the curriculum during the last three years have negatively impacted their studies because they were not able to adjust that quickly. They argued that whenever the curriculum changed they had to re-adjust which affected their studies.
They also noted that they were lacking a strong foundation in science as several subjects were merged into one. As a result, students had far less to study but were missing out on important lessons.
An English language teacher, however, criticised the correction of the exams saying that they were graded “too harsh.” Because of that many students lost points and received unsatisfactory results.
Other teachers reiterated the same statement, saying that the exams were based on secondary level but were corrected and graded based on a higher level.
Sheikha Al Za’abi, director of the Palestine School for secondary education, however, pointed out that students in their last year of secondary school lack dedication and an interest in studies. She claimed that many are not aware of the fact that they are in a stage where marks matter for getting an entry into higher education. She also pointed out that there is a lack of competition amongst students to get into the top position.
Za’abi calls for more awareness among school administration and parents to develop students’ abilities and to make sure they know how critical education is for their future endeavours.
She suggested to conduct regular meetings with students to guide them in their studies and help them with their future education plans.
Other teachers said that students’ underachievement is sometimes the result of inflexibility among teachers. They argued that teachers have little room to explore new methods of teaching as they are bound to the curriculum and are asked to finish the syllabus by the end of the term.
They have little time to assess students’ performances individually but are asked to give detailed reports to parents.
Also, longer school days do not really have an improving impact on students’ performances, they said. Students return home tired because from a long day of learning and are not able to focus on their homework after school as they are exhausted. Moreover, they have little time to pursue hobbies and other activities as they spend most of the day at school.
Dr Mogheer Khamis Al Khaili, director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, however stated that the results of secondary certificate exams in Abu Dhabi were satisfactory in general, despite the fact that a large number of students did not occupy the first position in science and literature.
He pointed out that students’ performance is not only based on marks but also in their overall development.
He said the process of learning and developing skills should also be taken into consideration. Khaili added that the Council is discussing with the Ministry of Education MoE and the Institutes of Applied Technology to change the curriculum in favour of more subjects to provide students with a comprehensive education in all fields and to develop their skills in all subjects.