Tough Rules: Low Performance to be Expelled to Boost Grades
Authorities in hopes of raising education standards have resorted to taking drastic measures which include expelling low performers in order to boost grades.
Youngsters return to school with a sword of Damocles above their heads as those with average grades of less than 8.5 out of 10 points will be excluded at the end of the year.
The measure is an old one reintroduced by authorities in the hope of scaling high the general standard of education in the west African country — denying any learner with low grades from pursuing their studies.
In the working-class district of Adjame, the rule stirs comment at small stalls selling school supplies, where people also exchange secondhand textbooks.
But at the Pierre Amondji college in Adjame the measure is generally well received among the students.
Djenebou, a student who is taking the baccalaureate school leavers’ exam at the end of the year says he find the measure is good. He adds that the move will make them redouble their efforts and work harder.
His classmate Seydou applauds the measure saying that it is the best. The goal is to improve our knowledge so we move on with solid training, he added.
But Seydou also hopes the regulation will not encourage fraud, and in particular the blackmailing of students by certain teachers in exchange for good exam grades.
Students will not be barred from the school system. There are bridges between technical education and vocational training,” Kone adds, keen “to reassure parents”.
The minister says students who don’t get the grades will not follow the standard curriculum, but they will be able to learn a trade or different skills.
“We must not leave anybody aside. The state must redirect these students to training in other trades,” insists Claude Kadio Aka, president of the Organization of the Parents of Pupils and Students in Ivory Coast (Opeeci).
Minister Kone stresses the aim of the reform is “to raise the standard” of Ivorian schools and to give diplomas their full worth.Our children are in advanced classes and don’t even know how to write an elementary sentence,” protests Christelle Okingni, who has four children in school and welcomes the initiative.