The South Pacific Form Seven Certificate (SPFSC) exams, which is the regional university qualification, has commenced. A total of 1122 students will sit the qualifications exams in three of the Pacific island countries, namely Kiribati, Vanuatu and Tuvalu, over the next two weeks. The SPFSC qualification, which is held in high regard by regional and international universities, is developed and administered by the Pacific Community’s Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP), in collaboration with the education ministries of the participating countries.
EQAP’s Team Leader (Curriculum and Assessments) Mere Vadei wishes all the SPFSC students well in their exams. She assured that no quality control measures were spared in preparing the SPFSC qualification.
“EQAP has worked throughout the year to ensure a quality programme for 2019,” said Ms Vadei.
“The provision of the syllabus, the training of teachers in their schools, the support and verification of the internal assessment programme, the training of examiners and moderators, and the strict quality control of the examination paper development process are some measures that were put in place to ensure a quality programme for our students.”
“EQAP ensured, in collaboration with Ministries of Education, that all examination scripts reached the examination centres in time. Instructions and guidelines about the supervision of the examinations have also been provided to all Ministries of Education and schools as part of this quality control.”
She also called on supervisors of SPFSC exams to strictly adhere to the exam guidelines to ensure the integrity of the results.
“It is important therefore that supervisors and school heads follow the due processes during supervision, which includes very strict invigilation during the actual examination, in order that student responses that get to be scored in the coming weeks are credible, reliable and valid,” said Ms Vadei.
The SPFSC qualification is premised on the principle of constructive alignment between the curriculum, teaching and learning, assessment and reporting. It adopts an outcomes-based approach that focuses learning around essential learning outcomes that students must achieve by the end of their school year.
A distinct feature of the SPFSC programme is that no student is marked to have failed. This reflects EQAP’s philosophy that all students have the potential to be successful, although not on the same day. So instead, EQAP reports that these students have ‘Yet to Achieve’, thus encouraging them “to try again and improve their learning through specific and timely feedback and appropriate remedial intervention”.
The external examination component is one of a number of assessment activities that SPFSC students tackle, and, for most of the 14 subjects, it makes up 70 per cent of the student’s final qualification score.
The remaining balance of the qualification score is calculated from the student’s performance in the internal assessment tasks. The last paper for the examination is on Friday next week.