Dhaka | Thursday, November 30, 2023 A


Shift Cambridge and Edexcel examinations to “Portfolio of Evidence”

2022-04-01 05:04:58 BdST

2023-11-30 11:01:25 BdST

Published: 2022-04-01 05:04:58 BdST

Live Correspondent: After the Government’s valiant decision to replace "O" and "A" Level examinations with school assessed grades last year, thousands of students have benefited from it and thousands more were admitted to universities that guaranteed them a brighter future. The decision was greatly appreciated and welcomed with a sigh of relief as it provided a much-needed conclusion to a yearlong battle with a raging pandemic.

Families continue to suffer in 2022 and many have lost parents, hence inflicting great pain and intense mental stress. This year, CAIE has given full liberty to the government. The government can choose to not run exams and take on an alternative method of assessment (evidence based grading).

So, it is up to the government to send a directive to the British Council asking them to shift to this method of assessment in place of physical exams. As a result, this year, it has become much more relevant. Adapting to the current situation and shifting to grading using a portfolio of strong evidence in place of physical exams will once again prove to be a viable solution to the chaos students studying under the British Curriculum are suffering from this year. Bangladesh has suffered one of the longest waves of school closures since Covid-19 has started. Even now, physical classes are taken sparingly in most schools.

The constant closing and reopening of schools, and the sudden shifts from online to offline classes from time to time have massively disrupted the mental state needed to sit for physical exams and our ability to complete the entire syllabus effectively. The home country, the UK, has been prioritizing exam anxiety and providing opportunities for their candidates to sit for exams at another time if they wish to do so. Furthermore, they are receiving immense reductions to their syllabuses. As for us, we have received none.

Due to the recurring school closures, Bangladesh Government has taken measures in favor of the HSC and SSC by decreasing the syllabus and postponing the exam dates; however, no such leniency was provided for the English Medium students. Instead, ‘contingency’ measures that remain ineffective for us students at large provide no parity for us alongside the local exam boards. Hence, we are demanding for this year’s examinations to be shifted to Portfolio of Evidence-based grades.

Taking this choice of shifting to a portfolio of evidence based grading instead of physical exams would not only come as a relief to thousands of English Medium students in Bangladesh but it would also be a fair form of assessment, reflecting that of last year’s but in a more upgraded manner.

In short, the grading would be carried out as such: Schools will collect three pieces of evidence from the students and send them to the exam boards for grading. The exam boards will extensively compare the marks according to their own set of regulations (as published in their website) and grade the students accordingly and in a fair manner.

This is a request on behalf of thousands of anxious and concerned students from all over Bangladesh. Even though CAMBRIDGE and EDEXCEL have stated that this years summer exams will go ahead as scheduled, we believe that its incredibly unfair given the circumstances of Bangladeshi candidates relating to the pandemic.
We furthermore request the British Council to communicate with the Education Ministry of Bangladesh as they would cooperate on approach with this; in tandem with the effects of the pandemic and the leniency awarded to the local board exams.

Doing this will help the British Council shift to Portfolio Based Grading this year and provide parity for all the candidates in Bangladesh suffering subsequently.

Dhaka, 31 March (campuslive24.com)//bic


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