Monday, June 23, 2008

'Democratisation de l'acces a L'Education' ...yes but at what cost?

Hi u all,
We have all heard that the government intends to provide access to Tertiary Education to all eligible students, and as per their definition, eligible students are those who have at least one A-Level....implies that with an 'E' in Maths is now eligible.

Should they really apply this measure, i believe that this will weigh heavily on the National Economy. A quick question i ask is: Do all jobs 'created' require the potential applicant to have a University Degree.

Furthermore, i believe that there is something more subtle going on....Let's assume that a School-Leaver is meant to be looking for a job, and given the current situation, finding a job is hard...Consequently, it could be that ensuring that most of the school-leavers join Uni implies that they will not swell up the unemployment statistics...What a Crafty Measure!!!

To mask the level of unemployment, get them to uni... They are just delaying the problem...

Several countries have faces problems when they educate too many people..They end up with over-qualified people, and worse still, since many cannot find well-enough paid jobs, the people then try 'Greener Grass Elsewhere', resulting in brain drain.

Reputable Universities usually have entry requirements as high as 3 B's....wonder where our decision makers are getting their inspiration from....for the one time they are not copying from Europe, they are making a mess of it all.

It is a fact that not everyone is has the ability to join university.. University Education is meant for people who really want to get it and who work hard enough for it.

I would not want to witness a bunch of Spiky-Hair, Piercing Loving, gum-chewing, and Techtonic obsessed teenager wearing Riped jeans being given something they have not worked hard enough to deserve. (Teenager ..yes..though they are 18 or more, i have doubts whether their mental age matches this high!)

What do you think?

Gavin

24 comments:

vicks said...

bon i guess bizin donne banla ousi ene chance et access at tertiary education.

just have an entry test.
i don't believe in hsc results.. just need to work out some past papers again and again and you are through..

or do some massive filtering at the end of the first year at the university

During the past few years at uom, i've came through many students who didn't perform well during their HSC exams and still manage to cope with the course and at times better than those who had better hsc results.

i believe we should give them a chance during the first year to prove themselves and perform elimination at the end of the first year.

Avinash said...

Some said: "A university is a place where intelligent people meet to exchange views"

I guess this requires (at least) intelligent students and intelligent academics.

So I am not too happy about this "democratisation" thing as we all know that intelligence is distributed normally across the population.

I would prefer making the university elitist and creating additional entities (like polytechnics in the UK) for less intelligent students.

Now, I know that some people will react negatively about myself calling some people intelligent and some others non intelligent. But, face it, it's a fact of life.

Hypocrisy is bad.

PS: I like Tektonic :-)

Chaya said...

Hi all,

"Do all jobs 'created' require the potential applicant to have a University Degree."

I would answer this question with a big NO! Nowadays organisations no longer use HSC or university results to recrute people, though having these certificates as background is usually a plus which distinguishes one from the other candidates. In my job, I get to check the CVs of several dozens of people per week, these people have enough good HSC results, Diplomas and degrees and even the relevant work experiences, but they are not selected for the job. WHY?? the big question! It's simply because that they happen not to pass the IQ tests or their profile do not match the expectations. I could see only few people going through the 1st test and fewer through the 2nd test and eventually the interviews. I was lucky enough to pass my tests and get a job there.

Moreover, organisations are implementing a "cut-cost" strategy meaning that an overly qualified person would imply higher remuneration and the HR might not recruit that person. I have even heard someone saying to yet another person that he or she is "expensive" for a specific vacant post!

So I don't think that providing tertiary education to eligible students is a good idea, there might be some who don't even want to go to uni to study more and due to this measure taken by the govt, the parents would be forcing and pressurising their children for it.

Those teanagers are for sure 18 years or over, but they are not as much mature as they should be! Fallait guet zot agir et parler en public!!! Kot nu p aller dan sa moris la??

Anyways, that's all for now, it was only my opinion.

Cheers

Chaya

G@V!N said...

Well HSC is the only way we have of 'separating' the able from the less able students.

I believe that a student with good HSC results stands a better chance of working well at Uni compares to one with poor HSC results...although some exceptions exist!

The system of eliminating students after Year1 already exists in countries like France...

I believe some people are trying to fool the nation...Its so easy to sell dreams..and so hard to realise them.

What would a minister say if Uom starts chucking people out because they do not meet the standards!

we'll see pressure rising on UoM to make them pass.

I believe any alternative is good provided we are selective and make sure the best people are where they deserve to be.

Some people need to be kicked out!

BTW: Notre PM s'est taillé la part du lion en ce qui concerne le temps d'antenne qui lui a été accordé pendant le Journal Televisé...20 minutes....il faut le faire...surtout que la majeure partie de ce temps a été utilisé pour critquer le précedent regime!...What else!!!

Anonymous said...

i dont agree at all when u say
"I believe that a student with good HSC results stands a better chance of working well at Uni compares to one with poor HSC results...although some exceptions exist"
i have seen oh-so-many 3A's fall hard at UoM, some even having to resit papers, and the greatest surprise is that the ones who got the supposed bad results, performed much better than the supposed more intelligent...
we cannot use HSC results as a reference for the level of intelligence...
an entry test, proposed by the respective faculties would have been the best solution, and the tests should be testing knowledge rather than the capacity to memorise...students getting through will be definitely better armed to face the hardships of c++ classes...oops... ;P let's say hardships at UoM

elimination after the first year could be a good idea, but it must be coupled with orientation for students who didn't get through to the second year of studies so that they can know where they failed, and whether the field of study is actually their field of excellence.

Education is very important and providing access to everybody is a very good thing, provided that UoM has the capacity to accomodate so many students, which i doubt it does...in that case a choice has to be made, and merit seems to be the most favoured criteria for entrance at the university, in the mauritian context...

Lady Saray

G@V!N said...

Hi Lady Saray,
Thank you for your comment!

I do agree with you that the HSC results is not a true refection of the intellectual capabilities of a student, but currently thats the only means we have. I would be very happy to see a total re-engineering of our national curriculum.

Countries like France have adopted a 'retour aux fondamentales'...and looks like our Ministry of Education has followed suit by requiring all college students to take at least one Science subjects till O'Level (if i am not mistaken)

France also has an interesting system of 'Concours' whereby they have a common first year for all science students and then based on the results of the first year, some students are 'advised' (if possible) to take another field.

As regards C++, well programming methodology in general, this being the first module where they cannot learn by heart but use their creativity and ingenuity (I am sure this brain function is under-utilised or under-valued in our education system)

Well what i am not really happy with is the fact that we give access to tertiary education to people who:
a. Do not want if..but yet go to uni as it is becoming fashionable
b. Do not need it because the field they like does not really need it
c. Do not deserve it as they have never worked hard enough for it.

Giving education to the mass freely weighs heavily on the Economy.

I would be very happy to have a Pre-University Entry exams or even exams at the end of the first year at Uni.

I was shocked to hear from the radio that the UoM intends to take 45% more students this year...Wonder where they will all fit?

I also heard our Minister of Education say 'It's only the beginning'...I hope it not the beginning of the end?

Any comments on this 45% increase?

Chaya said...

45% increase?

Kot zot pu mete sa bane zeleves la? Wen we started uni, they were planning to have lectures in POWA! Makes me wonder whether they'll implement it this year!
De plus last year, (if every one student would attend lectures) ti p bizin rode additional chairs pu met dan ELT 2, now ki zot pu fer?

UoM is focussing on quantity rather than quality.

Chaya

vicks said...

i guess having large lectures with around 200 students was the first step towards the increase in intake

also maybe they started many other courses, "something" with IS or "something with computerscience".
i don't understand the use of these courses, specially when they take some module from this course and some module from another course.. its like a briyani with meat,chicken and fish altogether :S

anyway i kinda agree with Lady Saray. it might cost a lot, but maybe instead of having elimination exams after a year, it can be done after 1 semester itself.

Anonymous said...

Quote from Lady Saray:
"i have seen oh-so-many 3A's fall hard at UoM, some even having to resit papers, and the greatest surprise is that the ones who got the supposed bad results, performed much better than the supposed more intelligent..."

I believe that this observation in no way justifies why HSC results are not good references for the level of intelligence simply because "oh-so-many" does not give the proportion of good results vs poor results who have resits.

"Guilt by association is an injustice", Richard Stallman in the article "MyDoom and you"

Ketan

Anonymous said...

1. To the Article

I think an entry examination would be a good thing rather than mass admision.
The entry exams should not be based on parrot learning but more on logic, creativity, and a few more things like that. or even an iq test.

Quote from Lady Saray:
"i have seen oh-so-many 3A's fall hard at UoM, some even having to resit papers, and the greatest surprise is that the ones who got the supposed bad results, performed much better than the supposed more intelligent..."

My logical explanation for that is:

"Bon hsc mone bien travaye mone reussi gagne 3A, aster unif cav casse n poz et enjoy."

This applies to SOME of the 3A's who got resit in some of their modules. Ive said SOME and not ALL. There are ppl who work really hard for hsc but when they come to uni they start to work less hard...
though there are some ppl where its the opposite. hsc casse poz unif work dur lol

Another thing about the "democratisation", i can tell that some students wont be able to cope. directly and simply. I do maths with CS as you already know and there are lots of studs who cant cope who must either change course or leave the uni after a few weeks. I think for a lot of courses its like that: physics, chem, CSE, and so on.
So now if the entry grades are decreased i wonder if the number of students leaving the course will not increase(inversely proportional relationship??? lol)

2. To 45% increase of entries

B la couma dir pu gagne fer cours dans
1. Raized plaza
2. POWA
3. dans collez?
4. Lor passerel(kan pena la pluie)
5. Dan gym
6. Lor terrain foot au grand air :P

lol im kidding for the last 3 of course...
But the thing is that im wondering how they will manage with that amount of students. Eski zot pu tire tout latable dans class et faire zelev assiz enbas par manke de place? lol

Si couma dir ti ena nouvo infrastructure, par exemple ene ou deux tower dans style engineering tower(kot ene ta zelev cav gagne cours), li pu comprehensib zot p increase nombre zelev mais la sorry de lexpression zot p prends zelev just pu rempli poche

about 2000 leave the uni each year(im not sure of that can anyone confirm plz?)
b zot p prends 4000-4500zelev this year, mo p demande moi si administration la conne fer les maths ki couma dir pu ena ene GROS excess students


darklide

Anonymous said...

Hey Gav ki p dir man? Yann ca!! To rapel nu ti siposer al lapeche camaron about 3 years ago? ti p check ban site UOM, in bat lot to blog...

Kurt Avish said...

Hah I like this post. At last someone who think reasonable.

"I would not want to witness a bunch of Spiky-Hair, Piercing Loving, gum-chewing, and Techtonic obsessed teenager wearing Riped jeans being given something they have not worked hard enough to deserve. (Teenager ..yes..though they are 18 or more, i have doubts whether their mental age matches this high!)"

I like this part you said. And yea you are right. I think the university should only take people who merit a place there! If you see the intake of last year...just see these students...many of them got place at the university with some damn stupid results! And you know what??...they most often fail their first year itself..and then switch course!

I think the best idea is to have an entry exam at the university! For example if a stident is appyling for Computer Scienceand Engineering or Information System...first we have to check his HSC results...then also do an entry exam on general knowleadge concerning the specifiv=c field.

For example we can't accept a TOTAL LOSS who come to do Information System but when we ask him if he can atleast use Excel...he say WHAT IS THIS??? Or if we ask him which windows he use...he answer: "XP be pa cone ki XP!" lol

Its just pure university pollution to intake so much students. Am a current university student goint to year 3 IS. And really it s**k to see so many stupid who dnt even know what career they want...but they are at the university!

Nice blog.

Kurt Avish
http://islandcrisis.blogspot.com
http://www.onlinemoneytricks.com

Kurt Avish said...

And I would also like to comment about what someone just commented here. Its true...Good HSC results (3A) does not mean that the student will be the best at uni!

Thats why i say the university must use a mixture of checking HSC result together with an entry exam to get to a conclusion.

Kurt.

G@V!N said...

This is really interesting!

Looks like people are thinking sensibly!

I thought you people would react adversely to education being given to elites and meritorious students!

Instead of the Mass!

A uni in India gets 10000 application for a course and takes 180 ....and we get less than 1000 Applications and governments wants us to take more than 200 students for a similar course!

Anon said...

Ohhh interesting debate, and long time I didn't post here.

Well, HSC and all, I think some students are mis-guided as to what course they really need. Some are motivated by the prospect of a good job, probably in the IT field. With this in mind, they go for CSE or IS even with no prior computing knowledge, and land up with learning issues. Not just job motivation, but parental pressure too. Or lack of knowledge about what the job market has to offer.

Entry exams might be good, but I think it's a bit discriminatory. A better solution would be to dedicate a week for University Career Guidance, just before admission of freshers. It would also be good for representatives of major players in the job market to attend the career guidance and help students.

Each faculty chooses some lecturers as representatives, and they conduct conferences for students, telling them what is to be expected of them if they join X or Y faculties, or A, B course. Like for CSE, the student might be told: "You gotta love programming, else you would be squirming to get results!". Also, give the students some information about the syllabus, content and other useful stuff.

That should be easy enough to conduct, considering Uni would probably be in holidays just before admission, and the big lecture theaters would be empty.

Then, students can make their choice as to what course they really need, and what they must do if ever they choose a course. No more complaining about "tough C++ classes" or whatever. You were warned (if career guidance existed)! If people really love programming, they will probably love Programming Methodology.


Now, 45% thing. One word: absurd!

Come'on! UoM is already packed full. I agree with providing education for the masses, but that doesn't mean cram the whole mass in one place! Isn't it time for Mauritius to get a second campus? We who are aspiring to become a "cyber island" providing "world class education"?

I'd like to know how lecturers feel about that increase, if I may ask. Mr. Gavin?

Anon :P

Tushal said...

I don't know how many students I will be having in my class this year.I have learnt that UOM will take 45% more students! !

by the way, Not all people with spike hair are.......unwilling to study..:p
I have spike hairs but still..I study..doing final year LLB and first year CSE.:p

$€|v3n said...

I have been willing to answer this post since quite a time...

Before i continue on, please bear in mind that i hold no political affiliation, and i sincerely don't like the way of letting anyone in the univ...

----quote--------

Reputable Universities usually have entry requirements as high as 3 B's....

----end of quote-----
First, we must not see what others do, but instead, according to my opinion, good academics needs to learn and understand what the requirement must be depending on that location they are, hence studying the result trend and people. but that's not all.. i wish to refer to what you said ...

-------quote----------

It is a fact that not everyone is has the ability to join university.. University Education is meant for people who really want to get it and who work hard enough for it.

-------end of quote-------


sure enough i did agree with you that, we can't allow anyone in, but hell, we can't base ourselves on the fact that the ideal people that needs to come to univ are a bunch of nerds who just know nothing more than just reading and learning by heart without any sense of logic or creativity....

one can't define someone to be intelligent using such a bias method as our education system, sure enough it may be a plus for the candidates, but i sincerely believe that an entry examination for univ would be more appropriate, something that test for aptitudes.
A good aptitude test is something that doesn't assume about the examinee's previous knowledge [atleast he must know english a bit], by a good aptitude test, i mean something that requires proper thinking and logic to deal with, this way, we really get to identify whether someone has the aptitudes to get in or not.

Hell, when i think of it, if i hadn't done my hsc, i would have still been able to do my CSE course without any problem.

You can't say the hard working ones is the one that is always the ones that should win, or the type who just learns by heart always is the one who wins (since it is a fact that the ones who learns by heart are the ones who gets the brightest results most of the times... (nothing against you people)).

sure enough, hard work pays, because with good results in hsc, they can score a certain entry marks to enter univ, but using the entry exams, we get to identify what could be dropped out and what was thought to be dropped out that we can still use. And univ must be available for everyone at any age to try it out again when they feel they can try themselves at the entry exams again.

Don't forget that the whole purpose of univ wasn't invented just for people to learn knowledge that other people created, but it was also made to create and share knowledge... greeks and all.

:p so according to me... :p if the guy is hard working and just can only learn what others created for him, then he isn't fit for univ, but kuma nu dir "bez neznez boire de l'huile"

the perfect univ person would be the one that can both learn from others and create new knowledge.

but since the perfect ones are rare [VERY rare...], then this gives us no right to drop the person who can create knowledge but can't learn by heart for the sake of the kid who can learn by heart and not think by himself. If we have to be fair, then, weight then accordingly, i.e AGREE that those two categories exists, and we have to cope for both of them and not just for one of those two.

Of course there's also the third type, the ones who just aren't meant for it and simply will never be good at it, then those ones aren't total lusers, somewhere out there they have something that they are good at, but it is not the faculty's job to find it out, unless there's enough money to counsel and learn the cases of each of those students also :D, but just don't bring em in because we can't decide what to take... that's dumb and lame.


and as always... i don't really care about what you think of this post, its just my two cents, coz i know the world will never change, its hopeless.


+$3|v3n

$€|v3n said...

and as far as the comment by avinash...
---quote----

Now, I know that some people will react negatively about myself calling some people intelligent and some others non intelligent. But, face it, it's a fact of life.


:D definitely they are not less intelligent, you are totally wrong, it means simply they are just not made for it, and sure you can't be as good at repairing a car as the car mechanic who has been doing this as a passion since years and years :p. You may know the general principle, but yet you'll lag behind and he'll probably be thinking "pfft those academics, lots of talks and no show"


ps. note that this was a neutral comment about the "less intelligent" thing you said, nothing against you [ since you are already considerred among the few great academics by me]

pps. pa all gonflE asterr.

$€|v3n said...

reply to chaya

---quote---

It's simply because that they happen not to pass the IQ tests

---end of quote-----

ohhh come on, that IQ test thing is perhaps the biggest lie ever in human history [ okay second to the fact that the queen of england is of pure noble blood]

a good IQ tests is something that shouldn't be having "assumptions" on the user's previous knowledge.

for work, IQ tests is a bad thing, i prefer to believe aptitude tests is a better thing for work environment.
ofcourse, if you are offering training, then some level of REAL IQ tests is needed and is cool.

[note that am saying this from experience.... those people who have performed well at the mauritian kind of IQ tests and who got a job from that are the dumbest ones i have seen.... you know the type who is supposed to be working as a programmer or sys admin but when you go too techie on em, they have that confused look on their face, but they still say "yes yes" as if they are understanding everything... even if you accidentally slip and lie a bit they think its real... ]

$€|v3n said...

you seem to say this a lot :

"Do not deserve it as they have never worked hard enough for it."


what do you mean by that?
I sincerely don't see someone noble enough [in my sense of what i call as noble in computer science/eng/art] if the later doesnt have the aptitude.

So even if someone works hard enough to achieve good marks at it, isn't impressive at all, it just means, he's just anybody who wants to achieve...

if i was a business owner that hire people in computing world, i would prefer to have the person that maybe is lazy but who knows his shit and who will think of newer things for the company and bring forward greater research materials and hence bring me more money :p... the hardworking type, i would just put him in the "troupeau" that just do the dirty boring desk job.. type type type what the other thought thought thought.

but then.. that's only me talking.

Another thing, you seem to sound defeated when you say "Well HSC is the only way we have of 'separating' the able from the less able students."

dude you are supposed to be an academic and you are supposed to be the ones that think of solutions for those problems.

entry level exams is a good thing.. probably aptitude tests and iq tests not based on assumptions... and scoring marks based on those :p ofcourse hsc exams having a certain "weightage", i.e you pass with X marks on the entry exams you get 50%, and hsc result with A=something, B=something, C=sometihng.... adding the marks, averaging em, then equals to some percentage etc... over the whole entry marking scheme.



----quote darklide-----

My logical explanation for that is:

"Bon hsc mone bien travaye mone reussi gagne 3A, aster unif cav casse n poz et enjoy."
------end of quote------------

good reasoning, but don't forget that there's also something related :p if the guy really liked that field, even if he had good results at hsc and thought of slacking at univ, he wouldn't want to get bad marks at univ because he likes the field... if he doesn't like the field... then should the field like him?? or should he be a reject? :p definitely reject.

Usuaully that logic of yours will apply to form1+ students who just finished std 6 or to lower6+ students who just complete O'level.. because those classes are just too vague.. i.e "too much of subjects, and seeing that you over performed before for boring subjects, you just slack out afterwards :p"


---quote g@vin----
we get less than 1000 Applications and governments wants us to take more than 200 students for a similar course!
-----end of quote--------

:p that's because the majority of people are like sheep, you tell em "heh can i screw you", they'll initially make some noise about it, but they'll accept it in the end.
and they will complain about the pain, then the guy comes in the next day and give em a cake, they'll say, "he's soo nice, he gave me a cake, i can let him screw me again"
welcome to mauritius bro, there seems to be a large amount of the population who seems to be like that... bof, do i care? in the end they are the ones that'll be suffering :p. live and let die.

Kurt Avish said...

Hi we are creating a blogger society for mauritius...please cm and vote a name for the club... http://islandcrisis.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

what makes you think that Spiky-Hair, Piercing Loving, gum-chewing, and Techtonic obsessed teenager wearing Riped jeans do not study? May be you should first of all learn how not to discrimate people. Being a lecturer and taking like this is disgusting. There is no guarantee that students will actually be successfully having the best HSC results.

souonline said...

I agree with your pt of view. It's been like fashion now that just after HSC students go to university.However our peeps are not to be blamed as it's the idea being given to everyone - get a degree and get a job

However, not everyone can achieve university level. In other countries it's not necessary to have gone to university to get a job plus there are different training institutions...

It's okay to give the chance to everyone but I believe entry exams would really help coz we can't afford to admit around hundreds of students and then 50 out of them fail at the very first end of year exams! It's just fooling and wasting the time of those poor students who might be talented for other things...

G@V!N said...

Hi all,
I know! Its nearly a month since i last posted, the reason being too many 'programmes' and too much fun!

Many of you seem to think that relying solely on HSC results is not a very good idea, well i do agree but till now we do not have anything which resembles Entry
Exams for Universities. I would be most happy to have those because University is not about learning by heart.

There are two dimensions to education:
We can give education is depth or in width (i.e Laterally)

By 'Lateral', I mean that concepts need to be learnt and applied, furthermore, it should be the case that the students are able to analyse a situation from different perspectives and design or suggest the best solution.

Anon, you will agree with me that there is not much room for happiness in the life of a computer science (CS) student who hates programming.

Why did he choose CS in the first place? Was it out of craziness, passion, pressure or desperation?

I believe that many chose it simply because they were lead to think that they will get above Rs 25 000 just after graduating.

So Tushal,
...Not all people with spike hair are.......unwilling to study..:p
I have spike hairs but still..I study..doing final year LLB and first year CSE.:p...
I was talking about spiky hair not spiky hairs thats a different issue... lol...anyways i got your point...though i am tempted to say that you could be 'L'exception qui confirmerait la regle'....si il y avait une telle regle...keep it up and all the best!

In fact my remark was about Spiky-Hair, Piercing Loving, gum-chewing, and Techtonic obsessed teenager wearing Riped jeans...i.e. those with all of the above.

And yet some say i am disgusting....well i would say that I am worried! I did not say that they do not study, i simply meant that they do not study hard enough to deserve a seat, and yet they will be admitted!!!

Now Selven...btw you could have written all in one go....but i understand your mindset to reply one by one. Ana;ytical ad Orderly huh!

I do agree that HSC results are not always a true representation of the intellectual capabilities (exceptions exist), but till now, that is the only thing we have and it was been pretty representative.

I also understand that our education system works best for average students and it fails when we have:
1. plain dumb students (as we have no proper means to help them out IMHO private tuitions is not the solution)

2. Late developers

3. Students with a lot of creativity, as they are forced to join the mass, as our current system focuses on READING, WRITING and ARITHMETICS.

A friend once said that If Einstein was born in Mauritius, he would probably end up sweeping the streets.....you might wonder why: well simply because he thought differently.

I also perfectly agree that marks are not always representative of capabilities at UNI, i know what i am talking about...

Well Selven, you caught me when you say i sound defeated: You see, our university is not a private one, and most of our funds do come from the government, so they do have the ability to impose some policies upon us.

This reminds me of a sad story, when i finished my HSC, i applied for reserved seats at University of Madras, which i got, just next to where i lived there was a utensils shop, and the shop salesman there had a BCOM. Sure enough he was doing commerce, but do we need a degree to sell utensils.

Unless this guy did his BCOM out of choice and passion, I consider this as wrong planning, Human Resource mis-Management and the wrong use of public funds.

I hope that the government has long term plans for all the graduated produced, and that they do not get silly jobs whereby they feel frustrated and leave the country thus creating a brain drain . Consequently making the Return on Investment (yes: Education is an investment) nil.

What do you all think about it?