Friday, June 15, 2007

the deterioration of the academe

Having taught English for more than half a century has given me a clearly good picture of students who I think would make the grade in my classes. I spell them out at the beginning of classes but I do not know why some insist in not knowing and not complying and therefore not making the grade. Is it a case of attention deficiency or just plain "I don't care" attitude? Whatever the reasons for I am sure they can come up with many, these students who do not make it often come to "beg" for me to raise their grades because the department head told them to, otherwise they couldn't be enrolled because their grades did not reach the required cut-off grade. Now isn't this heading towards academic degradation? Why force students who did not reach cut-off to "beg" their teachers to raise their grades? So what is the use of the cut-off grade? Isn't it used to determine who among the batch are qualified to pursue the course or who among them would need some special intervention?

It is unfortunate that in their effort to improve the quality of education, schools have failed in doing so because some heads in the academe misunderstand how the cut-off grade is supposed to be used to achieve quality education. I have not really encountered many such heads but I know of at least one who had been driving students to their teachers to "beg" that their grades be stretched for some extra work---which I found weird and hilarious. Someone is misusing or misinterpreting cut-off grades.

During our time back in college, you got the grade you deserved! It it was 70%, then it was 70! There was no begging around teachers to stretch it. If all we got was 75%, then it should show in our transcript of record that it was all we could get. No bluffing around and pleading teachers to give you some "extra work" to reach cut-off. But we got to enroll in the next subject because 75 was passing mark. Today, students have to reach 83 or 85 in order to finish their course. What the heck! Many students have difficulty reaching 75 so why force the issue? Let their REAL GRADES be reflected in their permanent records and not some dole-out grades forced from the teacher by some dean or head.

Another point---the cut-off grade has never done students any good because they only get to reach it by "begging" for it. We did not have any cut-off grades during our time but graduates were more skilled.

By the way, some schools do not give grades to their students. They simply accelerate their students whether they learned something or not, that is their own problem. They are the ones paying, so.

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