The Fiji Times » “Entry grade cuts weaken education system”

The reduction in university entrance grades has weakened the education system and affected the ability of students to perform well at tertiary level, says Paresh Narayan, a professor at Monash University and commissioner for higher education in Fiji.

He said this while addressing delegates from the University of the South Pacific, University of Fiji, Fiji National University and Ministry of Education.

“An example is that several years ago the big universities actually reduced their admission based on the grades you get on Form 7 to actually get into universities,” he said.

“I know that when I applied for admission to USP, the minimum mark was 280.

“I think it’s down to 210. That’s a significant drop. What does that mean? It means you’re entertaining the possibility of weakness.

“You weaken the system and you entertain it. By simply lowering admission scores, you are essentially submitting to weaknesses in the system rather than looking for solutions to fix them and this is where the Fiji Higher Education Commission comes in.

Professor Narayan said this has also resulted in Fiji’s inability to create leaders. “What it did then was the graduates coming out of tertiary institutions, which is 95%, we will have a lot of luck generating leaders from that.

“The remaining 5% will go to Australia and New Zealand. We lack leadership and what that does — that bridge between the higher education institution and the knowledge economy — is a broken bridge. C so that’s the problem.” |