Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Letter in TheStar- Spare a thought for Hindus when setting exam period

Tuesday October 7, 2008

MY SON’S primary school recently announced that the year-end examination would start on Oct 30.
The District Education Office had issued the directive for Year 5 students.

Did someone forget that Deepavali is on Oct 27?

As a result of the directive, most schools have set the same date for Year 1 to Year 4 as it would be logical for all classes to conduct examinations at the same time.
Initially, some schools had planned for examinations to start on Oct 21, which would have been ideal. Many Hindus also balik kampung for Deepavali.
Affected families who choose to travel will have no choice but to make the journey back the morning after Deepavali.
Apparently, scheduling examinations closer to the year-end school holidays prevents students from skipping school.
Ideally year-end exams should be about a month before the academic year ends.
This gives teachers time to grade exam papers, prepare report cards and review the students’ performance. A sense of completion is achieved and the new academic year can start afresh.
When I was in school, there were a lot of fun activities and the annual class party to look forward to after examinations.
Attendance was full right up to the last day.
This may not work in present times but perhaps educators could come up with other ideas to keep children in school.
Deepavali is special and significant for Hindus.
I hope the District Education Office is able to look at this issue from our perspective and allow examinations to begin on Oct 21.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s letter (The Star, Sept 22) clearly conveyed the message that “goodwill breeds unity.”

Dr. I.R.,
Johor Baru.