Authorities should determine how to assess students in pandemic, expert

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities decided to annul the tests, secondary school graduation exams and Baccalaureate exams. The number of parents who consider this decision is justified or correct is significant, especially in the case of parents of lyceum students (48%) and parents with a low socioeconomic level (49%), shows the sociological survey “Quality of Education during Health Crisis” that was presented by the Institute for Public Policy (IPP). The study authors consider the education authorities should think how to organize the assessments during the health crisis. There are many states with such an experience that should be studied attentively.

In a news conference at IPN, IPPP programs director Anatol Gremalschi said the annulment of tests due to the pandemic was a rather controversial subject. In the case of this decision, they juggled with terms. If the exams had been annulled only, the students shouldn’t have been issued with diplomas. But they were issued with diplomas without taking exams.

The parents’ attitude to the annulment of tests depends on the socioeconomic level of the family and on the education stage at which their child is. If the child is to take a Baccalaureate exam in several months, they have a particular attitude. If the exams are to be taken in two-three years, the attitude to the annulment of exams is different. In the case of parents who have students at lyceums, 54% said the annulment decision is correct. In the case of parents with children in primary schools, only 43% said the decision is correct.

Analyzing parents’ answers to the question “if they think the annulment of assessments will improve the quality of education”, the study authors met with a surprise. One in four parents said the quality of education increases if the exams are annulled. “Evidently, those with training in teaching realize that this is not so. We can conclude that many of the 25% of the parents mix up the quality of education with the grades of students – the higher are the grades, the higher is the quality of education,” stated Anatol Gremalschi.

According to him, the authorities should yet think how to organize the assessments during the health crisis as “what is not assessed is not really learned”.

The study was conducted in the framework of the project “Taking opportunities for effective involvement of parents, communities and civil society in education governance (2019-2021)” that is implemented by the IPP under the Good Governance Department of Soros Foundation Moldova, with financial support from the Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations.

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