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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

Why Student Loans Will Be Disbursed Directly To Institutions – FG

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, Akin Sawyerr said student loans will be disbursed directly to the institutions of applicants to avoid diversion.

He also noted that individuals who obtain the loans will be made to repay their loans two years immediately after completion of the mandatory National Youth Service Corps.

Sawyerr made this known during a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Chris Maiyaki in Abuja.

According to a transcript of the meeting obtained by Sunday PUNCH in Abuja, Sawyer said that the sources of NELF funding included; one per cent of all profits accruing to the Federal Government from oil and other minerals; one per cent of taxes, levies  and duties accruing from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigerian Custom Service; Education Bonds and Education Endowment Fund schemes.

He also stated that the Education Loan would also be funded through donations, gifts, endowment and revenue accruing from any other source.

Meanwhile, the lecturers under the auspicies of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Federal University of Technology, Akure, chapter, has again reiterated its rejection of the proposed students’ loan scheme initiated by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

The lecturers described the scheme as a way to starve the public universities of funds, also saying if implemented, it would further stifle Nigerian indigent students.

He also stated that the Education Loan would also be funded through donations, gifts, endowment and revenue accruing from any other source.

Meanwhile, the lecturers under the auspicies of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Federal University of Technology, Akure, chapter, has again reiterated its rejection of the proposed students’ loan scheme initiated by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

The lecturers described the scheme as a way to starve the public universities of funds, also saying if implemented, it would further stifle Nigerian indigent students.

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Education

Unilorin expels 14 students for examination malpractice

The Management of the University of Ilorin has expelled 14 students of the institution, including 500 Level students, for various examination offences.

The university’s Spokesperson, Mr Kunle Akogun, disclosed this in a statement in Ilorin on Monday.

Akogun noted that the students were expelled for various established cases of examination malpractice.

He said that the management of the institution approved their expulsion following the recommendations of the Students’ Disciplinary Committee at its 219th meeting held between Jan. 10 and 11, 2024.

According to him, the affected students include 400, 500, 300 level and 100 level students.

“The affected students were from Faculties/Departments of Agriculture/Aquaculture and Fisheries; Agriculture/Agricultural Extension and Rural Development; Arts/Linguistics and Nigerian Languages.

“Some were also from the Communication and Information Sciences (CIS)/Library and Information Science, CIS/Telecommunication Science; Education/Adult and Primary Education Studies.

“Others were from Department of Engineering and Tech/Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Engineering and Tech/ Materials and Metallurgical Engineering as well as Life Science/Zoology,’’ Varsity spokesperson said.

He advised students to refrain from practices that were inimical to their academic progress, saying the university would not condone or spare those who indulge themselves in such illicit attitudes.

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Education

Ogun Govt to prosecute SS3 student and his parents for assaulting principal, teacher

A Senior Secondary School (SSS III) student of Agbara Grammar School, in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State and his parents, allegedly assaulted the Principal, Mr. Ajibola Olanrewaju and one of the teachers of the school.

It was gathered that the incident occurred on Wednesday, February 14 when the Principal reportedly seized Olawale’s uniform for allegedly behaving unruly and in a manner that constituted a lack of respect for constituted authority.

The principal was also said to have maintained that since Olawale had gone to register for the May/June West African Senior Secondary School Examinations in another private school, he had no business parading himself as a student of the school hence the decision to seize his uniform.

“Olawale would however not take this kindly as he went back home and stormed the school some minutes later with his parents,” a source told the publication.

All efforts to pacify and explain the situation of things to the parents failed as they started attacking the principal. It was in the course of this that the student, Olawale, slapped one of the teachers and tore his clothes.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu, confirmed the disturbing incident on Sunday, February 18, adding that the student and the parents would soon be made to answer for their act of misdemeanour before a competent court of law.

“Yes, I am aware of the incident. It is condemnable and such won’t be allowed in our school. I am in touch with the relevant authorities and I can tell you that the boy and his parents will be prosecuted,” the Commissioner stated.

“I learnt that the parents are already begging but I have insisted that they will get to court. It is a challenge that we had in the past when some of these parents were joining their children to attack the teachers but since one of the parents bagged six months of community service, the rubbish has stopped.

“So, for this one too, the state government will prosecute those involved, that is the only way to send signals to others that may want to travel this unpopular and crude way.”

The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS, Ogun State, Comrade Seun Agbesanwa, while condemning the incident, urged the state government to ensure that appropriate sanctions were meted out to those involved in the invasion and alleged assault on both the teacher and principal of the school.

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