Students express exam concerns

Students who are likely to miss out on critical Samoa Secondary School Leaving Certificate (S.S.L.C.) exam marks have expressed concerns about the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture’s (M.E.S.C.) timing of the exams.

The students had already left the country for Christmas when M.E.S.C. announced the continuation of remaining exams.

This has left many students in a bind and they are worried that their future prospects might be affected by the decision.

Two of them said the decision is unfair and that the Ministry should have considered the fact many students had already left the country when schools were abruptly closed as a result of measles last month.

Monica Yu Hoi, who is a Year 13 student at Saint Mary’s College. and flew out of the country on December 7th before the announcement was made by M.E.S.C.

 “I only have one exam left,” she said.

“I am scared that this might pull my marks down.”

Another student from Samoa College, Susiana Tapelu, expressed similar sentiments and added the decision by the Ministry would disadvantage many students.

 “It is really unfair, not only for me but for students who are currently sitting exams,” she said.

“We have friends we might ask them for hints on what came in the exams and that would be unfair.

Ms. Tapelu flew out of Samoa before the exams resumed. She said the Ministry should have specified a time for the resumption of the exams before the schools broke off.

The S.S.L.C. Mathematics exam is the only one left for the two students.

They say it is not their fault that they travelled out of the country and have now missed the exams.

 “If Year 12 students can go straight to Year 13 why can’t we?” said Ms. Yu Hoi said.

“For us students who are now overseas, it is really not our fault why we missed out on those exams.”

But for Ms Tapelu, the festive season should not be the time for students to do their exams.

“In fact it is the Christmas season, no student would be able to focus on exams, it is the season to be jolly with families.”

Last weekend, M.E.S.C. urged students who are currently overseas and unable to sit for their remaining S.S.L.C. exams to provide their travel documentation to the Ministry.

But one parent, who did not wish to be identified, said she gave her daughter’s travel documents to the Ministry and was advised to leave them with the office.

She said there appears to be an air of uncertainty over the next course of action for students who missed the December 17-20 exams as they are yet to hear from the Ministry.

Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get a comment from M.E.S.C .Chief Executive Officer, Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Fuata’i, were unsuccessful.


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