Yes, it is true. Well, as some countries are abolishing examinations and tests at some levels, especially in the early years and primary levels, others are sadly increasing the number of tests and examinations that a child must do as early as kindergarten (do the children even know how to write?). As a result of the unbelievable and stiff competition, there is less emphasis on the actual education and more focus on getting the examinations and the right paper work in place to show the inspectors when they show up.
Examinations and tests have their place in determining the best level to place each child so that they can learn best, but if they become the alpha and omega then woe to the students who have to be part of that process.
Granted that examinations test skills, but what skills are we testing for when we are not even sure about the skills needed for the jobs that the students will be doing in as near as 10 years from today? For sure they will need to be very creative and flexible, but how do you test these in an examination? Should the time spent pumping information into students instead not be spent creating a more enabling school environment where these attributes can be initiated, fostered and observed?
Singapore has joined the no examinations conversation trend for children aged six to eight years. Instead, focus will be on actual learning and enjoying the learning process of developing young versatile brains to be lifelong students. Other curriculums like the International General Certificate of Secondary School (Cambridge) education encourage major examinations at the end of the school year and at exit points such as primary to secondary, ordinary level to advanced level – and the students are certainly not suffering from the lack of frequency of the examinations.
The world has advanced so much as the needs of different people change. Car models, phones electric appliances and the actual environment have evolved significantly. Asking students to sit still and prepare to be examined after a period of time creates an unreal picture of the real world in which every day is a test in itself; you need to make quick effective decisions on the go and not wait until a certain point in time when you are ready to do so. These are questions we need to ask ourselves, during this examination period.