Results queried exposes flaw in examination system

Tonga Ministry of Education’s Exam Unit releasing the Tonga School Certificate results last week has come under scrutiny following some of the schools serious concerns over the grades gained by their students.

The issue was anonymously revealed to the press by teachers of some schools after finding out that there was a pattern of discrepancy in the scores received by their students who sat the TSC with that of their inter-school examination results throughout the year where some students’ marks were said to be inaccurately high and some were low.

Some of the students understood to have gained low marks in their inter-school examinations and were not performing successfully, obtained grades B in the TSC and some even got A grades.

To the contrary, some students well known to these schools to have been their best candidates got either C grade or a fail.

The minister of Education, Dr ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki told Tongan Newspaper that she was informed by the Unit about the problem admitting that they have not yet been able to locate what have been gone wrong.

But Examination Officer Mr Isileli Oko in his statements to the Tongan Newspaper defended the Unit saying  there was “no problem with the scoring system”.

However he admitted that he has responded to queries from schools explaining them what have been occurred noting one of their queries pointed out ABS grade that appeared in the students’ result scripts.

ABS grade means that the student missed one component of the Internal Assessment according to Oko.

But these schools confirmed that some of their students never missed any components of the Internal Assessment but received ABS grades in their result scripts.

It was not clear whether the examination was manually marked or through a computerised system but Mr Oko attributed the ABS problem to the system used for marking of the exam saying that it was based on the “policy” made by the South Pacific Board for Educational Assessment in Fiji and they are expecting them to sort it out soon.

He said that once the ABS problem is solved all grades should be automatically reconciled if there were problems with them.

Last year 2012 was the first time for the TSC Examination to be set out and graded in Tonga.

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