dumb and dumber a matter of degree

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 April, 2004, 12:00am

You may have heard about declining university standards. But what really scares me is what a private tutorial centre's managers told me about their applicants in a recent recruitment for tutors and teaching assistants.

The recruitment attracted almost 150 applicants. Of these, 88 held a bachelor's degree or higher certificate. They were given Primary Six tests in Chinese, English and maths. Each subject was worth 33 marks, so the top grade was 99, and applicants had 30 minutes to complete all tests.

The overall average was 56 per cent. At least it was a pass.

But wait, it gets worse. The average for Chinese was 13 out of 33. The lowest was a staggering 2 marks. For English and maths it was 25 and 18 respectively.

Sadly, the centre has had Primary Six and Secondary One pupils who scored top grades on the same or similar tests.