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GCSE And A-level Pupils To Be Awarded Fewer Top Grades In 2022

GCSE and A-level pupils to be awarded fewer top grades in 2022, says Ofqual

Pupils sitting GCSEs and A-levels next summer will receive fewer top grades than this year’s cohort, but will be given advance notice of some exam topics to help address learning lost as a result of the pandemic, Ofqual has announced.

The 2022 summer exams will be treated as “a transition year” with grade boundaries set midway between pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and 2021’s record results, after exams were cancelled for the second year running and replaced by teacher assessments.

Grades will then return to 2019 pre-pandemic levels for pupils sitting exams in 2023, who are now at the start of their GCSE and A-level courses, in the expectation that they will have avoided the worst of the Covid disruption.

The exams regulator is hoping the two-stage plan will succeed in reining in grade inflation and bring results back to normal levels, without triggering a sudden drop in results for pupils sitting their exams next summer.

Ofqual said more students will still get higher grades than before the pandemic, but with adjusted grade boundaries the proportion of pupils getting top A-level grades could drop by as much as 10 percentage points on last summer’s results, when almost 45% of all entries were awarded A or A* compared with 25% in 2019.

After a public consultation, the government and Ofqual confirmed a range of adaptations to next summer’s exams to make up for the disruption to learning, including a greater choice of topics in some GCSE exams like English literature and history.

Advance information about the focus of some exams will also be made available to schools in early February to help teachers and students make best use of the revision period in the final months before assessment, and support materials like formulae sheets for maths will be made available in exams.

Although the government has made plain its desire for exams to go ahead next year, Ofqual also published contingency plans for the use of teacher-assessed grades again in 2022 if exams have to be cancelled for a third year running because of Covid.

The education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “We’ve put fairness at the heart of our approach and listened to pupils, teachers and parents. The measures we’re putting in place will help reduce the impact of the significant disruption this group of young people have had to face – allowing them to move on to the next stage of their lives.

“We are committed to rigorous standards being fairly applied, and exams are the fairest way to assess students, which is why they will take place next year.”

Ofqual’s chief regulator, Dr Jo Saxton, added: “Our grading approach will recognise the disruption experienced by students taking exams in 2022. It will provide a safety net for those who might otherwise just miss out on a higher grade, while taking a step back to normal. Choice in some subjects and advance information to support revision are intended to provide support for all as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said the exams announcement had come too late and would not allay the anxiety or answer the questions many teachers have.

On exam adaptations, she said: “Only giving advanced information about the exams in time for revision will result in a ‘topic lottery’ where some students will have happened to have covered the topics on the exam in sufficient depth and others may well have not.”

Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Whatever decision was made about the approach to grading in 2022, it would be open to criticism by some. The most important thing is that this decision has been made and everyone involved now knows what to expect.”

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Education

World bank supports Oyo govt withN3.5b grant to renovate schools

2023: Makinde, Oyo PDP leaders at loggerheads over support for Atiku

The World Bank has supported Oyo State Government with N3.5 billion grant for the renovation of selected 105 public primary schools across the state.

The state Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, made the disclosure on Friday in Ibadan during a symbolic presentation of cheques to representatives of some of the beneficiary schools.

Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Bayo Lawal said the grant was meant for the renovation of primary schools with critical attention.

The governor explained that the works would commence simultaneously in all the 105 schools selected across the three senatorial districts of the state.

He admonished those in charge of the exercise to avoid doing shoddy jobs but to ensure that all the projects were in accordance with the prescriptions.

He said that doing quality jobs would make the essence of the projects realisable and equally make the general public to appreciate government efforts in the education sector.

“A huge amount of money is being put into this project and the beneficiaries must put eyes into what is being done in their respective schools.

“The standard must be in accordance with prescriptions, so that our children will take maximum advantage of the facilities government is putting in place,” Makinde said.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education Intervention, Mr Suraj Tiamiyu, said that the renovation of the 105 approved public primary schools mostly in the rural areas was expected to be completed within six weeks.

Tiamiyu said the renovation would include construction of toilets, boreholes drilling among other facilities that would make learning environment more condusive for pupils.

He added that the exercise would be properly monitored for effective delivery to standard and time framework.

The grant support is a World Bank Project under Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) – Additional Funding (AF).

The project is a form of educational grant from the World Bank with Global Partnership for Education (GPE) aiming to increase equitable access for out-of-school children and improvement of literacy in beneficiary states.

Oyo state and two other states, namely; Adamawa and Katsina were beneficiaries of the grant, which is also seeking to strengthen accountability for results in basic education in Nigeria.

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Education

Gov Yusuf to build 300 labs, 1,000 classrooms, employ 10,000 teachers in Kano schools

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State on Saturday declared a state of emergency on education in the state, with a promise to immediately employ 10, 000 teachers across the state.

The declaration took place at the Kano Government House, with the governor emphasizing that the era of educational negligence in the state is over.

The governor said the Kano educational landscape, once a beacon of hope and opportunity for the youth and an example for other states to copy, is now in a state of decadence.

“The problems are multi-faceted; we face a severe shortage of qualified teachers, inadequate teacher training programmes, and a lack of basic amenities such as clean water and sanitation in many of our schools.

“These issues, coupled with the socioeconomic challenges that many of our students face, create an environment where education is not just difficult, but nearly impossible,” he lamented.

The governor said an additional 300 state- of-the-art laboratories in 100 schools across the state will be provided. The provision of these facilities, he said, will provide students with hands-on experience in scientific inquiry, fostering a culture of experimentation and discovery that is essential for their future success.

In order to create a more conducive atmosphere for learning, he announced the construction of 1, 000 classrooms across the state within the next academic session.

“This measure will, no doubt, mitigate classroom congestion that has become a common feature of most of our schools.

We have also directed that all contractors handling inherited abandoned projects in our tertiary institutions go back to site immediately,” he said.

As part of the emergency action, the governor approved the hiring of additional 10,000 teachers, adding that teachers will enjoy periodic training and retraining so as to achieve the vision of making “every teacher, a caring educator. ”

He added:“At least 1,000 Academic and non-academic staff will be employed into tertiary institutions.

“This declaration is not just symbolic; it signifies a commitment to overhaul our education system. We will invest in infrastructure, ensuring that every school has adequate classrooms conducive to teaching and learning.

“We will also prioritise teacher training and welfare, recognising their pivotal role in shaping the minds of tomorrow.”

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Education

2024 WASSCE will go on despite strike- WAEC insists

The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), has insisted that despite the nationwide strike declared by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) the ongoing examination will continue.

The NLC and TUC had flagged a nationwide strike on Monday after a four-hour meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on Sunday evening in Abuja, failed to produce the desired results.

Following the commencement of the industrial action, a statement by the Head of National Officer, Branch Controller, WAEC, T.A.Y Lawson, on Monday, disregarded the strike, saying the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination goes on as scheduled.

“The attention of the management has been drawn to a notice of the commencement of the indefinite strike by NLC and TUC effective from Monday, 3rd June, 2024.

“Please be formally informed that the conduct of WASSCE SC 2024 goes on as scheduled,” the statement noted in part.

According to the statement, the commission said that as much as it shared the concern of the unions and the generality of Nigerians, the exams would go on across the member countries of WAEC and the Nigerian child should not be put to a disadvantage of missing the exams.

“For the aforesaid reason, WAEC will conduct the exams and school principals, supervisors, parents and the general public should please take note and make adequate arrangements for their children to sit for the exam,” the statement added,

The list of subjects to be sat for on Monday include; Physics 3 (Practical) (Alternative B), Computer Studies 3 (Practical), Insurance 2 (Essay), and Insurance 1 (Objective)

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