Parents Divided Over Fewer High School Final Exams
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government’s decision to slash the number of high school final exams from five down to two isn’t sitting well with all parents in Prince George.
“Parents have very different views,” says Gillian Burnett, president of the Prince George District Parent Advisory Council (PGDPAC).
“Some are in favour of fewer exams and some are not. There seems to be some concerns about how this is going to affect the post-secondary transition. They wonder just how involved universities have been in making sure that all of their admissions are still able to do their admission work.”
Richard Giroday, president of the Prince George Teachers’ Association, agrees that is a valid concern.
“Universities will say, oh my goodness, we don’t have a consistent exam that will be the same for everybody across the province.”
He says it could force post-secondary institutions to create their own entrance exams.
“To see whether there’s consistency, because I know if everything is based on classroom examinations from one class to another, there could be quite the spread of differences.”
While acknowledging fewer exams will take pressure off students and teachers, Giroday still believes final exams are a valuable tool.
“I saw that government exam as a check on how I was teaching. Was I teaching to the right level? Because I would look at my school results and compare them to the government results and we should be fairly close. So it was a check on what I was doing in the classroom.”
As for Burnett, she’s planning an information session to help keep parents informed.
“We’re hoping to be able to plan an evening event to provide parents with more information. Early in the new school year. But at this point we’re kind of waiting to see how it all rolls out.”
The provincial government says the changes will be implemented in the 2017-2018 school year.