Monday, May 28, 2012
The call for the strict enforcement of 80% attendance for A levels
The Minister of Education has requested today, that all school Principals strictly enforce the regulations, which call for a student to attend a minimum of 80% of the school days during the A level course period, before he or she is permitted to sit for the A level exams. It must also be remembered if one sits A levels through the school, then one must have the forms signed by the Principal, and therefore in order for him to sign the form, the student must satisfy this requirement.
I will not go into the finer points of the number of months prior to the A levels that the forms need to be submitted to the Department of Examinations, nor the dates from which this attendance applies as well as the valid excuses to circumvent the regulations, as it is not the place here.
So just spare a moment and think through this request. Is it reasonable? I do not think so. What is the main reason for this enforcement? It is the fact that many students instead of attending classes attend A level tuition classes instead. Why do they do that? It is because their parents DO NOT HAVE faith in the school his son attends, to give him the best chance of the best result? Instead of sending him to the free, state school, the child is sent on one or more school days for paid tuition, sometimes by the same teachers, who earn an extra buck. In many instances this is at the cost of poor teaching in the class room, and the student is instead asked to attend the teacher’s tuition class in the evening or at some other time!!!
When one is forced to abide by the regulation, what will the end result be? The student’s A level grade suffers because he was not able to attend sufficient tuition classes due to the regulation. These are all valid questions that need to be debated before we come to any hasty conclusions. In my opinion, it is the dearth of good teachers that is affecting the education system today. Parents therefore who are able to pay for tuition, do the best for their child by that.
We must take a more relaxed approach. We must realize that the remaining students have a better chance with the smaller class size, for better attention from the teachers. Do the teachers take advantage of this fact and give more individual attention to the student and coach him in areas that he finds difficult to grasp? I rather think not. It is not the student who should be the focus of the investigation, but the TEACHER.