EDITORIAL: School exams won’t be missed

Doing away with the social studies and science exams, for example, will come with positives.

The B.C. Ministry of Education is reducing the number of provincial exams from five to two.

We think eliminating certain provincial exams is appropriate. Sure, comparables have some value, and cramming probably builds character.

But we suspect that doing away with the social studies and science exams, for example, will come with positives. The idea is that spending less classroom time copying notes verbatim off a white board leaves more time for lab work, topical discussions and personalized learning.

It’s worth considering, too, that students nowadays do represent a different generation. The question we used to ask when we were pupils – when am I going to need to know this? – has become more valid. Access to technology and information is ubiquitous.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation supports the elimination of exams, but points out that personalized learning must come with appropriate class composition and of course that’s true. It’s the teachers and students who will ultimately determine the success of B.C.’s new curriculum, but it’s up to the government to prioritize education, and with a year to go until the election, we’ll pay attention.

We know B.C. kids are among the smartest anywhere. We don’t need them to write exams to prove it. What we need are students who, even if they ace a test, know they don’t have all the answers, and will set about seeking those answers their whole lives.

— Black Press