Monday, September 10, 2007

Failure of Examinations

It happened a few weeks ago. Our English instructor, who is a nice lady (I'm sucking up here) and is also the campus institute of education head, was fuming mad about a call she received that morning. She was murmuring like a constipated killer bee. So, being the grand “kuya” of the class, she told me what’s bothering her. She said me that she received a call that morning about some students from the campus applying for a part time job. I don’t know if it was one of those clerical part time jobs, but the company where these students were applying for called the campus to enquire how these students got good grades when they can’t even write a decent sentence in English. She’s pissed off when she received the call; she’s a veteran teacher of English so when she told me that she handled the call well, I believed her.

I’m not good with grammar, but I’m trying my best. That’s why I have this blog, sort of a laboratory and a gym. Anyways, I do average in my English class. (Yes, I’m trying to create an exit door in case my instructors who read this blog ask me who am I to say such things when I can’t even write a decent composition and when I can’t even pass their quizzes …)

Our instructor bombed the class that morning. How dare….? How dare…? And how dare?! And then she ranted about the instructors’ grading system. I heard she called a faculty meeting) Not satisfied with that, she ordered the class to do sentence writing exercises using the formula S-V-O, S-TV-DO, S-TV-D-O-O blah, blah, and all those things that I never took the time to study and memorize. I mean, I hate math and all those formulas, so, why do I have to torture myself with it in my English class. Anyways, I think she suspected that the applicants came from our class; I suspected that too. It’s like she’s punishing them, or us.

Students’ English proficiency problem starts from the bottom of the educational chain and there’s very little a college teacher can do to correct this. But our instructor is right about the grading system. There are classmates of mine who I think don’t deserve even to pass the course yet they received grades worthy of magna cum laudes. Yes they deserve the grades because they did well on their examinations and recitations. But on the other hand, they don’t deserve the grades because the type of the examinations that were given was mostly the objective type—very little comprehension, critical thinking and expression involved. I mean, anyone who can memorize all those things the instructors wrote on the board can pass the exams with flying colors. Language, English for that matter, is more than that—it’s communication and has very little to do with “regurgitating” terms and definitions.

I told our instructor this in a more diplomatic way, and, I think, she agrees with my obvious observations.

I don’t know I write about these things when even I, most of the times, don’t even know if my grammar is correct! Ironic.


Jayred said...

I wonder, doesn't your school conduct teacher evaluations (i.e. department heads checking on how courses are taught in class, and how teachers fare in general) during the middle and at the end of the term?

George said...

Hmmm...and hmmmm...I know from experience that it's done, but,the question is, what is done to the result of the evaluations.

Jayred said...

Well, usually the department heads discuss the results with instructors and professors.
That way, teachers and administrators alike know what needs to be addressed.

I guess after this incident in your school, teachers will be on their toes na?

George said...

Hope so :-)