According to recent news, Tainan elementary schools are going to cancel all the tests for the students in first and second grade. For the third and the forth grade students, their tests amount are going to be cut down. They only have Chinese and Mathematics two subjects in big exams. ( They also have Science and Social Study originally.)
The educational government declared that it helps elementary students enjoy happier lives. “Fewer tests, less pressure.” they said.
However, does this really do good to younger students?
Being a student, I’m sure that tests are necessary.
After studying, tests can help us recognize the summary of the text, catch the key points and also find out the questions that we still not understand. Tests also push us to study. We learn from tests. With them, students can never study well.
In my opinion, the new policy may leads to two serious problems.
The first one: it gives students more pressure in higher grades.
When kids grow up, they still have to face the pressure of having tests. However, they have less practice and fewer experiences in early ages. Something like the entrance exam doesn’t change. They can’t get rid of some expected stress. Why don’t put the pressure on them gradually but suddenly? Does this really make them relieved? I don’t think so.
The second one: it makes the attitude of parents much more different.
Taiwan’s entrance exam system develops a stressful learning environment. In this kind of situation, parents’ attitude can be really important. In school, you can tell that some students who receive a lot of care from families. They often do above their classmates. Their parents are always worried too much. They check the kids’ homework. They pay and let their children go to cram schools to study more about Chinese, English, Math, etc, and learn more about playing piano, swimming, drawing, etc. Let’s call this kind of parents positive parents.
On the other hand, there are some parents who are always busy with their work. They think that students should study on their own. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love their children. But in fact, they do pay less attention on kids’ schoolwork. As a result, students may find the way to shirk. Sometime, they forget to study. Let’s call this kind of parents negative parents.
Two different kids are given different kind of education. It leads to the Two-Peak Phenomena.
Without the school tests, the phenomenon gets more serious. The grade is invisible. Parents don’t know the situation of their kids’ studying. The positive parents are worried much more and pay to let their kids to learn more. The negative parents will never notice whether their kids are studying or not.
One side of the young students have much more pressure. The other side of students have worrying future.
Does this do good to kids?
While the most stressful entrance exam system is unchanged, such a policy brings no benefit for we students.
What we are going to improve first is the attitude of facing education. If we learn simply because we want to learn more, not for the tests, it brings the true happiness.
This policy makes no use under Taiwan educating system.