[WATCH] ‘Continuous assessment has confused parents and teachers’

Teachers’ union president Marco Bonnici hopeful that consultation with education authorities can deliver meaningful change

MUT president Marco Bonnici
MUT president Marco Bonnici

Confusion over the way teachers should carry out continuous assessment of students is leading to over-marking, the Malta Union of Teachers’ president Marco Bonnici said on XTRA.

“Many educators are going overboard with assessment: instead of grouping three different pieces of work with one mark, they end up assessing 20 various pieces of work, all due to instructions from above,” Bonnici said.

The MUT had already called out education minister Evarist Bartolo after proposing the end of the benchmark exam for sixth-year primary students. The exam will be phased out after 2021, as part of a continuous assessment system for primary school students which proposes that children progress ‘seamlessly’ from primary to secondary education. But the MUT said the removal of the exam will affect children who have not yet endured the continuous assessment system.

Bonnici said the union was also concerned that the MATSEC office would only take further decisions on its upcoming reforms, based on its preconceived notions, despite consultation from stakeholders.

“Teachers of Systems of Knowledge do not want the removal of the project component, and if they are recognising a sports component for S.O.K, then they should also include performing arts,” Bonnici said. “I think such an error, leaving out performing arts from the variety of disciplines eligilbe for S.O.K, is only symptomatic of the fact that the MATSEC office is disconnected from a certain reality.”

Bonnici said parents and teachers are feeling more pressured to ensure their children get ‘high marks’ from one week to another due to continuous assessment, rather than an annual appointment with their exams.