PM son praises new system for high school excellent exam improvement results

    Teenagers in the kingdom have been praised for performing well in their national exams 2018.

    The Ministry of Education Assessment unit said this year’s results were the highest since the new examination assessment system was adopted in 2015, Kele’a newspaper has reported.

    380 students out of 489 have passed the Tonga National Form 7 exam last year.

    That number is an equivalent of 78 percent which is an increase by 19 percent from 59 in 2017. In 2016 only 24 percent of the students passed the examination.

    In 2017 only 256 students out of 435 have passed the exam while in 2016, a total of 646 students sat and only 158 students passed.

    The Prime Minister’s son Siaosi Pōhiva has attributed the success and improvement to the new raw marks assessment system.

    Siaosi was head of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s  Assessment Unit of the Education Quality and Assessment Programme.

    He was instrumental in supporting Tonga’s move away from standardised marking.

    Siaosi, the editor and publisher of Kele’a newspaper said the improvement in the 2018 results was an indicator predicted by the Ministry of Education since the new system came into force.

    These included foreseeing that the passing and overall score rates could be improved year after year. And that the gab between the lowest and highest scores will be reduced.

    Siaosi claimed the new system was introduced after principals in Tonga complaint that the passing rate of national exams results were too low.

    As Kaniva reported last year, Siaosi said Fiji and Samoa in the Pacific had already changed from standardisation system and used a modern raw marks system.

    He said the benefit of having the new assessment system was that it provided a “fixed standard” measure for form 5, 6 and 7.

    This gave examination analysts an opportunity to determine what they can do to improve the examination results in many areas including creation and setting up of the exam papers, the Kele’a has reported in Tongan.

    It said in the previous assessment system examination analysts found it difficult to report on what to be improved in the examination process because the “standard was not fixed.”

    Siaosi recommended government using the new system to all school levels in Tonga including primary schools.


    Last year’s results came after the marking system has been controversial since its introduction.

    When Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva decided for Tonga to revert back to the Raw Marks System, it caused an uproar among educators and scholars within the Ministry of Education.

    There were protest marches and letters of petition were submitted to the KIng in Privy Council and to Parliament.

    Siaosi said the criticisms were invalid and did not provide any sound basis.



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