The massive failure of students who sat for Form IV National Examination last year has attracted a fierce debate in Parliament this week with most MPs calling for the reinstatement of the Form II National Examination.
The MPs blamed the government for issuing a circular in 2008 to abolish the Examination, which acted as yardstick for determining whether a student should continue with Form III studies or not.
However, they admitted that establishing Community Secondary Schools was a good idea but argued that the examination was important for gauging students’ ability to handle Form III students.
Deo Filikunjombe (CCM- Ludewa) said the government should emulate private schools by conducting continuous assessment examinations at the end of each academic year.
“If we want Form IV students to perform well then we must reinstate the Form II National Examination. Students in private schools do better because they are assessed at the end of each academic year. Those who do not score the set marks are not allowed to continue with studies the following academic year,” he said.
Assumpter Mshama (CCM-Nkenge) echoed Filikunjombe’s observation, but said that the final examination should not be a yardstick. Academic development should be traced and assessed from pre-primary level.
“A student may be very bright but she/he may perform poorly in the final national examination due to being ill or just because of panic,” Mshama defended her argument.
Recently, a government official who was working with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training confided to The Guardian on Sunday that the government can not escape blame for the massive failure of Form IV students who sat for the final national examination last year.
Speaking on condition of anonymity the government official, who is now working as District Administrative Secretary in one of districts in the country, said the Form II National Examination was of great importance for assessing students’ competence.
“Our children have recorded poor performance in the Form IV National Examination results because those who sat for the examination last year belong to the first batch of students who continued with Form III students without being subjected to the scrutiny of the Form II National Examination in 2008 ,” he said
Suzan Lyimo (Chadema – Special seats), apart from blaming the government for abolishing the Form II National Examination, asked the public to get prepared for worse results in the Standard VII National Examination.