THANK you to the PR Unit of the Ministry of Education for the reply, (Department of Schools responds, Feb 14, 2015 issue of Weekend Bulletin). The process of obtaining certificates is refreshing but the conclusion is as expected – schools and teachers are to be held accountable for the current situation.
EDEXCEL is a programme based on trust (quoted from EDEXCEL International Trainer), however, there are checks and balances to uphold its standard through predefined procedures.
There are several players who are bound by these procedures:
Assessors: (Teachers) who teach, monitor and make assessments of students’ work.
Internal Verifiers: (Teachers, School-Based) who monitor the work of the Asse-ssors.
Content Coordinators (CC) (Sanctioned by country manager): Those who are knowledgeable on the running of individual programmes, setting up of workshops and sharing session.
Programme Advisors (Sanctioned by country manager): They are clueless about their role in this programme.
Lead Verifiers (Knowledgeable in EDEXCEL documentation/procedures): They monitor the running of each programme in each school. Last heard that once a week they are required to be at Jabatan Sekolah Sekolah to do their Lead Verifiers work.
Country Manager: Their role is to ensure the smooth running of this whole programme and to monitor the work done by Lead Verifiers. They should give reports written by ISV (International Standard Verifiers) to each school so that schools can make amendments before ISV’s second visit.
International Lead Verifier (UK): Checks that all the documentation and procedures have been followed. Checks if students’ work has achieved the level that merits certifications. The ISV will then make a report on the running of the programmes for individual schools and also the running of EDEXCEL as a whole (management side).
Jabatan Sekolah Sekolah should also note that ISV should check twice a year. The first visit should be done in March or April to monitor the progress of work done by Assessors and IVs and gives advice and recommendations.
On the second visit, ISV will do certifications and this will be done at the end of the year (quoted from EDEXCEL International Trainer).
The question that should be asked is why the first group did not have their certificates blocked?
This is because all procedures were followed and all players did what they were supposed to do. This unfortunately does not happen now (for some programmes). Assessors and IVs are struggling to teach because of lack of quality information and training from the management side. The only information Assessors receive is when the ISV is coming to town (usually for certification purposes). Workshop and sharing session are done only to inform regarding the forms and formats of documentation procedures.
Lead Verifiers only make school visits once a year (usually at the end of the year) and according to rule, their visits should be made regularly. If regular visits are done, hiccups faced by the Assessors or IVs side can be tackled.
Reports done by ISV are the only thing that can help Assessors and IVs to know where did they go wrong and what they should do to remedy it. For information, no reports or feedbacks are given to each school.
If these reports are not given, then how do the Assessors know if their school had been blocked or unblocked.
“Confidential” is the word used by LVs, CC and Country Manager when asking about this matter.
One can see that the failure of group 2 and 3 to obtain their certificates was not because of Assessors and IVs did not do their job, but the failure of several other parties to do theirs.
It is easy to say that the group 2 and 3 students should finish what they had started. That is true, but this can only happen if the reports are given immediately to each school and then school leaders can take necessary action. Unfortunately most students in group 2 and 3 are out of the school system and will face questions from the parents if they are requested to re-school their sons and daughters? Why don’t those who fail to do their work (excluding Assessors and IVs) conduct a roadshow at each school and explain to parents why they have to “re-school” their sons and daughters.
Hence, it is sad to conclude that these students will never get their certificates not because of their own fault, but the fault of others. The tough part is that the Assessors will have to break the news to them.
– Concerned Teacher