Dishonest testing is unfair

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 June, 2012, 12:00am


According to the article 'Pressure on teachers to 'rig exam scores'' (SCMP, May 7), some teachers at the Vocational Training Council try to rig exam scores and give test tips to students. Their aim is to boost overall pass rates as their contracts depend on students' success.

There is no doubt that grades are very important these days. Graduates need to show their certificates when they go looking for jobs. It's also understandable that teachers want to keep their jobs.

Yet cheating will cause many problems. First, it is disrespectful to both the other students and teachers. It is unfair to those students who work hard to obtain high scores. They may spend long hours studying, while others get an unfair advantage in exams. That's not right.

Second, if tests are administered dishonestly, we will have no way of judging how much students actually know.

Such behaviour will have a negative effect on society.

Christy Lau Wing-yu, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Christy. It seems as if all anyone cares about in Hong Kong is grades. This is very sad indeed as it tends to kill the natural curiosity young people have.

As human beings, we really are born to learn, and we do so from the moment of birth. But once we start being forced to learn, it's hard to maintain an interest. When it no longer becomes a choice but a necessity, it becomes a chore. People can work very hard at all manner of things and still enjoy themselves - if they do so willingly.

Take the player who spends hours online to gain the top score in WoW. But if his parents told him, 'For the next three hours, you'll have to play WoW', and the teacher was checking up on his progress in the game, I wonder how much he would enjoy it.

Susan, Editor