I would like to offer a parent’s perspective on the letter, ‘Call for more teaching, less testing’, published in the Opinion page on December 17.
I have two children currently juggling between regular school and religious education. The trouble is: both schools have adopted the same method of assessing students – regular testing. As a result, when they come home, they barely have any enthusiasm left for homework, often opting to either stare into space for hours or play computer games in their rooms.
If the national vision is to have an educated populace, is it not going in the wrong direction? It is understandable to test students from time to time to chart their progress, but regular testing is taking up the time of the teacher that could have been spent checking up on the students, to see where they are at and if they need help in certain areas.
What’s more concerning is that some parents send their children to night classes to counter the perceived incompetence of public school teachers. As a result, especially those who are already filling up most of their waking hours with regular school and religious education, students often arrive home with very little interest in anything but sleep.
If the objective of regular testing is to make sure the right students get to progress to the next stage, it is negated by the no-fail policy. So, the question is: what are these tests and exams meant to achieve?
I believe that the authorities need to rethink their strategies. Ultimately, the aim is to educate the next generation. But if the learning itself plays second fiddle to data collection, then perhaps a new approach to education is in order.