Monday, April 27, 2009

Integrity vs Plastic Graduates

81Source: The Star

An USIM lecturer who passed only four out of 157 of her law students claims she was forced to resign so that the university could protect its reputation, Kosmo! reported.

Nor (not her real name) said the reason she left was because she could not stand the pressure from the university management on her to give “sympathy marks.”

“How am I to give extra marks if the marks they got is what they should be getting?” she said, adding that her downfall started when she received a show-cause letter on why so many students had failed.

She was then criticised by her superiors, who also wanted her to add marks based on attendance so as to reduce the number of failures.

“I stood my ground. How could I give them marks for that when it is their responsibility to show up for classes?” she added.

The university declined to comment.

One of the large billboards in the campus displays the word "Integrity" which is believed to characterise the Uni I am working at.

However, such a word doesn't ring hollow when it comes to 'Nor', the USIM lecturer, who claims to have graded the students according to their actual ability. Four out of 157 of her law students passed.

Nur and those who seek the follow her standard know false grading of students is an act akin to fraud. Those who endorse it easily fool themselves with some quazi 'perceived benefit', but it is grossly unfair to those students who actually deserve their grades, but now have to compete on equal footing with illegitimately qualified students. What's more, it damages the institution involved, as USIM and the employers of its students are probably finding out.

And wouldn't it be great if those students embedded in that culture of 'certificate guaranteed' now realise those times have come to an end? Imagine all those fruit blossoms finally turning into real fruit and not the plastic imitation.

Last few semesters, I has to mark some supp. papers of those sitting for special exams. When I began to look at most of the exam answer script, I was shocked and strickened with utter disgust. Most of the students had obtained only very little marks (out of 40 %-the carry marks), which means that they really have to score in the special exam. Yet, these slow-and-steady-but never-win-the-race students are different. Their obviously forlorn answer script made it almost impossible for me to give even a mark!


Now, I am facing the same problem again. There's this unthriving student, who missed the boat. He is the only one taking my paper for that code (subject), yes...only one! Bcoz his other friends have taken it that it'd be obsolete after this semester. (Actually the subject is not offered this semester, but concerning the normal procedures, I still have to).

He got 5.17 over 10 in his first test, and he didn't turn up for the second test. About a week after that, he texted me asking if he could sit for the test. I was perplexed, in dilemma whether to tolerate or not... as he was also late for the first test. So, I replied asking him to 'just focus on the coming exams.'

Last Wed, I realized that he hasn't submitted his two assignments which dued five days earlier. So, I (me again, yang jadi tukul yang mengetuk pahat) reminded him to submit them by Friday. So, last Friday saw him handing in the assignments with half-a-page of info for each topic. My goodness!!! What am I to do now?

To make things worse, his first assignmenat was merely a copy-paste work from the internet. And his second was very poorly discussed.

Now, with his carry marks of 5.17 (1st assignment) and zero (2nd assignment), what is the maximum mark should I generously give for such lazy works? If he were excellent enough to score 60/60 in the final exams, I wouldn't mind... but I doubt it.

This in a way means that most likely, I will have to prepare a supp. paper for the coming special exams again! Gosh...

I would praise Nor and uphold her stance, as I refuse to produce illegitimately qualified students?

But now, with the new order by the administrator to reduce failure rate to not more than 25%, I fear there will be more cases for plastic graduates!

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