23 Jul

GSAT results are out…yupiee!!!

Students of St Richards Primary celebrating after the GSAT results were released.

The much anticipated Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) results are out. The print media was saturated with congratulatory publications for the many boys and girls who have worked hard, –and sacrificed a big part of their childhood (play) — and aced the examination. I too want to join in and congratulate these youngsters on their successful completion of one phase of their journey — especially those students who got perfect scores.

I am elated to see that the students who got perfect scores are not limited to the preparatory schools. I’m also elated that several students (not the usual 1,2,3, or 4) got perfect scores and it was not just girls. It is evidence of the abilities of our children.

The level of celebration of some of the parents superseded their exuberant youngster. Understandably so. Most parents toiled alongside their child/ren to ensure they were prepared for the examination. No surprises in that regard though, because each parent wanted his/her child to get the privilege of attending a prestige high school. I presumed some parents were so traumatized by the examination, that some even camped out close to the GSAT centres. You would believe they were the ones sitting the examination.

Some were not too happy with their results

Now results are out and they are reaping the rewards. Well…not all. While some celebrated, there were others who were grossly disappointed. This is because their child did not get the school of choice. It is not easy as a parent to watch the tears of your child flowing, and you cannot stop their tears from flowing.

With this disappointment, requests for transfer flowed in by the hundreds to the supposedly prestige high school. Some persons were successful in getting this transfer, while others were denied this.

Why seek transfer?
I cannot definitively posit justifications for individual’s request for transfer, but I will go out on a limb and say that some schools are not viewed to be of the same standard as others and hence, some parents think their child will not access quality education. Having interacted at with various institution, I must admit that there are some schools I would prefer not to send my child. While some may argue that the curriculum used in all schools is the same, there are other factors that handicap the effective impartation of same.

As I zeroed in on the numerous facebook posts during the period, most of them started like this or close to this “Congratulations to my son/daughter/nephew/niece who pass his/her GSAT for…” and of course they rattle off the prestige high school. There is one word that had me thinking- “PASS”. Is GSAT a pass or fail examination or a mere placement test? To my knowledge, every child that sits GSAT is placed in a school where secondary education is imparted. Therefore, how do we get the word “pass” in the same sentence? Is this to say the students who did not receive the school of choice, or averages above 60% or 70% did not “pass”? Certainly, by the standards of the examination they did not fail, so what would we call it? Or is it that the congratulatory expressions were not just about pass or fail, but moreso about earning a place at the prestige institution?

He sure is happy with his results…celebrate he must

Regardless of what it is, celebrations are in order and no one can deny the young students that.

My only regret is that despite the many strides made in the development of education, system is still fractured to the point where there are so many schools that remain in such deplorable state that parents refuse to see them as viable institutions to educate their children.

What say you?

*Pictures taken from google images


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