Some of the papers of the Form III examinations have been corrected already. The observations made so far keep up with the performance of the previous years: most of the students are not reaching the 40 % threshold needed for them to pass. In some subjects, half of the total number of students have failed.
The Form III National Examinations have just ended and the correction of the papers have already started. From what has been corrected thus far, it can be said that the overall performance of a great proportion of the students is not to the level required. Most of the students of the SSS educational institutions and private ones have barely made it to the 40 % threshold.
The physics and english papers have already been corrected – the results are not encouraging.
The statistics that have been published by the Ministry of Education in April of this year have shown similar trends: more than half of the students are not performing well, with 51.8 % of the students failing the mathematics exams, 68.6 % for chemistry and 52.1 % for physics.
Some of the colleges assess the performance of the pupils based on the work done throughout the year. According to these teachers, had they limited themselves to the end-of-year examinations, the results thereof would have been catastrophic. However, when the work done during the whole year is evaluated, the average marks are much better.
One of the observations that has been made is that most of the students having failed the examinations are from regional colleges. Meanwhile, the gap between national institutions and regional ones keeps on broadening. According to the president of the Association of Rectors of Mauritius, Madoo Ramjee, the contrast between the two groups of students is clearly seen every year.
Are the students lagging behind, or should the system be changed to accommodate for all types of talents and performances? According to the president of the Union of Private Secondary Education Employees, Yahya Paraouty, all the students should not be made to sit for the same papers. He argues that the students of Star Schools and those of private colleges cannot be evaluated based on the same paper. However, an official from the ministry of education stated that the level of the papers is ‘adequate’ and that it allows to make the national performance uniform.
Why are the youngsters performing so poorly, specially at science subjects? Perhaps, the teaching methods are inadequate? How can the teachers be blamed if they have to follow a certain syllabus that might not be conforming with the needs of the students anyway? Perhaps, the students lack motivation? Science subjects might be extremely interesting and enriching, but, it is also undeniable that the lack of job opportunities in these fields is demotivating. Everyone has his own talents and strengths: are these being fully exploited, or is the current education system focusing on essentially academic qualifications? Can we ultimately blame only the students?