Rabat - At the end of every semester, Moroccan university students show either a great dissatisfaction with low grades or a great surprise with high grades.
Rabat – At the end of every semester, Moroccan university students show either a great dissatisfaction with low grades or a great surprise with high grades.
When students check their results online or see them hung in the windows of the classrooms, every one of them will say either, “I worked very hard; why did I get a low grade in this subject?’’ or, “I am lucky. I did not expect this high mark.” This disparity in grades is not only due to the level of work, but also the educational system of universities, which is not always based on obvious rules. That is to say, the criteria for the assessment of students are ambiguous.
Many critics describe the educational system of Moroccan universities as weak and unfair because the real level of achievement in a student is not reflected in their grades. This is due to many reasons.
Firstly, there is a lack of organization and coordination concerning the exams and curricula. Every professor gives his own exam and uses his own curriculum. This means that every professor follows his own personal educational strategy in order to evaluate the students. The fact that university exams and curricula differ from one professor to another constitutes an unequal standard for testing the abilities of students fairly. That is to say, certain exams are tougher than others, and some curricula are complicated to deal with, whereas others are easier.
Another important weakness of the Moroccan educational system centers on the criteria of grading. There are no clear and official ways of assessment for the marks of the students. Again, every professor depends on his own methods. For instance, some professors insist on the importance of attendance and participation; but, according to many students, these two criteria are not completely reflected in the grades. This matter, in turn, is controversial. It leads us back to the sincerity and conscience of the professor to give each student what he or she deserves.
When the students ask professors about a low mark, most of them reply that the student did not do very well on the exams. This leads us to ask the following question, what are the criteria of evaluating an exam itself? One might think that this question should not be asked, for the answer is clear. In general, content, coherence, and organization are taken into consideration when grading exams. If this is the case, why do some professors want rote memorization, while others ask, explain in your own words what you understood.
Thus, for the former, even if the students had a piece of work that respects the three mentioned criteria of the exams, they would get a bad grade since they did not write exactly what the professor wanted. For the latter, some professors tend to impose their personal beliefs. This leads to the subjectivity and bias of a professor. Consequently, the only victim of this catastrophe is the student.
The last major reason behind this issue is that of authority.
A professor, in general, should not be given complete freedom in grading student work because the teacher is a human, and a human is fallible. Moroccan university professors are free to give anyone any mark they want, but this is a large barrier that hinders the achievement of academic transparency and credibility. For this reason, there should be accurate monitoring by the administration. When the students ask for clarification, the professors must elaborate on what basis the marks are given.
Doubtless you have seen a Moroccan university student working hard throughout the semester, but at the end he received a mark that absolutely does not reflect his or her real level. This is due to the poor system that Moroccan universities follow. There should be more coordination, as well as monitoring, of professors in order to guarantee an appropriate, balanced, and just system for all the students.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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