Spare A Thought
For each of the next few weeks, national school students in years 6, 9 and 12 are sitting examinations set by the government, 400,000 in Jakarta alone. Next week, from the 20th to 24th, Senior High School (SMA) are assessed to see if their grades are sufficient to enter a local university. Then, from the 27th to the 30th, it's the turn of Junior High School students to find out if they're fit to enter an SMA. Finally, a couple of weeks later, it's the turn of elementary school students to discover if they can graduate to an SMP.
They have to reach an overall grade in as many as four exams: mathematics, science, Indonesian and English. These are all multi-choice, formatted so that the tests can be marked by computers, of which it has been said, garbage in, garbage out. One
answer only is required.
Students have been drilled for weeks, with little time for more meaningful education: passing the tests has become of greater importance than learning about life according to interests and experience. A knowledge-based curriculum, full of so-called facts, depends on who provides them. When the providers*
are seemingly not as smart as a fifth grader, you have to spare a thought for all these students who will be unable to achieve the required pass mark.
As with legislative candidates
in the recent election, there will be a few suicides, and failed attempts.
Jakarta's Governor, Fuddy Bozo, is claiming that his administration raised educational standards in 2008. Well, I give no credence to this based on a Practice English Test from the Jakarta Education Department administered a couple of weeks ago. It is riddled with errors, and here are two of them.Read the text and answer questions 5
(and 6)5. Which is correct based on the text?----a. The party was to honor a baby birth
.----b. Shannon Miller was the name of the new baby.----c. People who came to the party had to bring their own baby.----d. The invitee could call Janis whether they would come or not.
-------------------------------------------------------------Read the text and answer questions
(35 to) 37
The text is about Tasikmalaya. This is a sentence from it:Like most of West Java, Muslim, ethnically Sundanese people, mostly populates it with a small Indonesian minority.37. Based on the text the number of Chinese people in Tasikmalaya is much ... than Sundanese.----a. fewer----b. higher----c. longer----d. weaker
If you can't spot the errors, don't worry but read my comments below
............................*I recommend My First Dictionary to the providers. Oh, and you.