Exam blun­der rocks NULIS

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

THE Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho In­ter­na­tional School (NULIS) prin­ci­pal has been given seven days to ex­plain why stu­dents were taught the wrong syl­labus for the In­ter­na­tional Gen­eral Cer­tifi­cate of Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion (IGCSE) English lit­er­a­ture ex­am­i­na­tion which they wrote on Thurs­day last week.

The Grade 12 learn­ers stud­ied A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream and Death of a Sales­man by English play­wright Wil­liam Shake­speare and his Amer­i­can coun­ter­part Arthur Miller for the exam — only to re­alise on be­ing pre­sented with ques­tion pa­pers that they had stud­ied the wrong set-books.

The stu­dents, the Le­sotho Times has since learnt, were sup­posed to study Shake­speare’s Julius Cae­sar and The Tem­pest’ Miller’s All My Sons and The Im­por­tance of Be­ing Ernest’ by Os­car Wilde.

“It was a shock to re­alise that the ques­tions were about Julius Cae­sar and All My Sons, which we had never been taught,” said one of the stu­dents on con­di­tion of anonymity.

“We im­me­di­ately no­ti­fied the in­vig­i­la­tor about this, but we were in­structed to pro­ceed with the ques­tions any­way.

“It was im­pos­si­ble to write the exam, which con­trib­utes 33 per­cent of the to­tal marks for whole pa­per.

“So what this sim­ply means is we are al­ready 33 per­cent down be­fore the lit­er­a­ture exam is marked, which is very un­fair to us con­sid­er­ing all the hard work we put in study­ing the wrong syl­labus.”

Mean­while, the stu­dents’ par­ents this week wrote to the school­head de­mand­ing to know how such a blun­der could have hap­pened.

The par­ents’ let­ter, dated 10 Novem­ber 2014, reads: “We, the par­ents of Grade 12 NULIS stu­dents who wrote the English Lit­er­a­ture Fi­nal Exam on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 6 2014, were hor­ri­fied to learn that the stu­dents were taught Wil­liam Shake­speare’s Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream and Death of a Sales­man by Arthur Miller, which were not asked in the fi­nal exam.

“This sec­tion of the exam con­sti­tutes 33 per­cent of the whole pa­per. It is ob­vi­ous that fail­ure to an­swer 33 per­cent of the exam pa­per will have dis­as­trous re­sults for the stu­dents.

“We de­mand the Head Teacher and Lit­er­a­ture Teacher to ex­plain why the rel­e­vant books were not taught, and what re­me­dial mea­sures the school in­tends to take. We hope the school will re­spond within a week, fail­ure to do so will force us to take other dras­tic mea­sures.”

Con­tacted for com­ment, NU- LIS Act­ing Prin­ci­pal, ’ Makananelo Moet­sana con­firmed the bun­gle, which she blamed on a teacher who has since left the Roma-based school.

NULIS is one of two elit­ist lo­cal in­sti­tu­tions, along­side Mach­abeng, which of­fer the IGCSE set by the United King­dom-based Cam­bridge Univer­sity.

Ms Moet­sana said: “It is true the stu­dents wrote the exam based on books they were not taught by their teach­ers.

“We were no­ti­fied about the blun­der dur­ing the ex­am­i­na­tion. What hap­pened is there is a new English lit­er­a­ture teacher who took over re­cently from some­one who has since left the school.”

“It ap­pears the for­mer teacher, who started the 2014 Grade 12 syl­labus with the stu­dents last year, in­tro­duced the books which were not in the syl­labus,” she said.

“So the new teacher also just took over with­out ver­i­fy­ing that those books were on the syl­labus. We re­ally don’t know how we are go­ing to re­port this mat­ter to Cam­bridge.”

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