Revised CIE grades were widely demanded but now they’re causing another problem
On 11th August, the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) board announced their annual O and A Level results. Unfortunately, their results were widely rejected for being unfair by students all over Pakistan, and beyond.
Ever since the day CIE announced its results for O and A Levels, there had been a massive uproar from Pakistani students
With CIE having announced earlier that examination for the May/June 2020 session had been cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it was also announced that results would be based on predicted grades. There were concerns as to how that will pan out and, to no one’s shock, this unprecedented manner of giving grades in these unprecedented times backfired real bad.
Overall, it was a frustrating experience for many A and B grade students, who tried their hardest to maintain those grades and received D’s, E’s, and even U’s.
you think you can hurt me? my cie exam results were predicted❤️
— ً (@yiikesmariam) August 18, 2020
However, some are very glad to have received the grades they did, knowing that if they gave the actual paper, they may have done much worse.
In response to the backlash, it was announced that grades would be reviewed and the new ones would be based on grade estimates that teachers had sent to the Cambridge Board for the Board to be able to give “predicted grades”
These new “revised grades” were announced on August 17 and now let’s talk about why that is much worse than the earlier grades.
Now, school teachers are at the forefront, being held responsible for the grades their students received. These teachers gave predicted grades to the Board based on a strict criteria around students’ performance of the whole year and had teachers played unfair, there was a strong chance things could go wrong since this was the first year that these predicted grades were going to be taken much more seriously, given that no actual examination were being conducted.
So we spoke to Pakistani teachers about how the CIE revised grades affected them even more than before
“Yes, most teachers will face some degree of backlash because no student nor parent is willing to admit that they or their child are in fact a C or D student, especially considering that they did not sit for the exams,” said an O-Level Pakistan Studies teacher.
An A-Level English General teacher explained that in normal circumstances, “students have no connection and are in no way aware of who graded their paper and so their anger can only bounce back into themselves.”
“We were told to ignore our personal ties with the same students we taught for years and grade them with no bias. Now, we are put in a position where we may have to explain ourselves to those same students”, said another.
list of A's my school sent to cambridge as my predicted grades 👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/gMBsZij5tM
— Maryam (@maryamayub9) August 21, 2020
Teachers aren’t too happy with the revised CIE grades either, naturally
Teachers did point out that although their grading was fair and based on the Cambridge criteria they now feel that their reputations in the education industry may now be at risk because of resentful students who received less than satisfactory grades.
This government really don’t like teachers:
•97% of GCSE results fully decided by an algorithm, ignoring the grades THEY PREDICTED
•39.1% of A-level results downgraded from THEIR PREDICTIONS
•Forced to put themselves at risk as schools fully reopen next month
— nads✨ (@narssss_) August 16, 2020
Although not much can be done to escape the revised CIE grades, we wonder what the actual grading criteria was for CIE and what went wrong in the first place with their original grading getting so fudged
An O-Level teacher assured saying, “I can guarantee that the predicted grades sent in by my institution, at least, were not inaccurate, it was Cambridge’s grading algorithm that was the problem”.
“The results generated by schools were not products of overnight decisions but were carefully considered, debated, and discussed in numerous meetings with multiple stakeholders.” said another O-Level teacher.
Moreover, another teacher highlighted that, “the algorithm CIE used was based on past examinations which were undoubtedly unfair because there has never been any guarantee that this year’s exams would have had the same result as the previous year’s for a specific school”
Calling CIE a scammer when mastermind's best buddy played a major role by getting right to predict the grades before CIE gives a final decision😡😡😡😡😡 and Destroying many life INDIRECTLY😡😡😡😡
It’s understandable that, given the circumstances, CIE revised grades was all that could be done, some Pakistani teachers actually have very interesting recommendations as to how we could avoid this mess in the future
“Considering the blunders they’ve made, I would have stuck to the grades the teachers gave and informed all candidates and institutes that I was doing so, so as to avoid any ghich pich”, expressed one Economics O & A-level teacher.
— Arbaz Omar (@ArbazOmar) August 11, 2020
Another stated, “If I were Cambridge I would have done away with failing grades and awarded candidates with As, Bs, and Cs.”
“Well considering the circumstances, I would have given a pass to all candidates. When you have students holed up in their houses, mourning the loss of loved ones, unable to give papers, or even maintain a steady schedule, it is unrealistic to think that they can be judged based on a handful on online assignments and results from when they were less concerned thirteen-year-olds” said an A-Level teacher.
To conclude, we’d have to agree with this teacher, who made a fair point, saying, “CIE should have informed schools and teachers earlier that whatever predicted grades were being sent out could be shared with students” By doing this miscommunication could have been avoided.
We wish the teachers and students best of luck with their reviewed grades.
Cover image via: Mohammad Asim / dawn.com