Yemen’s exam system is a lemon [Archives:2008/1137/Community]

March 13 2008

By: Ahmed Abduljalil Al-Qubati
Student, Gamal Abdul Nasser School
[email protected]

Yemen has many problems without solutions, one of which pertains to education and that is its exam system. There are three aspects of the problem, but I'm only going to discuss two of them: general exam supervision and exam committees in villages.

The first aspect of the problem involves cities like Sana'a, wherein all schools contain the same exam questions. However, do they all have the same strength of supervision regarding the exams? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Some schools have strong exam supervision, therefore, students can't cheat, which is good; however others don't have strong supervision, so students can cheat easily. Thus, no one really knows which students deserve to be school graduates.

The second aspect of the problem is the exam system in Yemeni villages. Rather than simply study – and thus, actually learn something, many students work in order to make money to cheat on their exams. Because there's no one to oversee it, they pay the exam committee to allow them to cheat on the exam, which is the easiest way to pass.

Some villages have a very organized system of cheating wherein an exam gets into the hands of someone outside the school before it makes it to the exam room itself. This outside individual then answers the questions, which then are sent into the exam room.

Another thing struck me while I was talking with some university students. At some universities, there's a funny rule that says, “In order to sit, arrive first,” meaning that a student must be one of the first if he or she is to sit in a chair to take the exam!

If they're late, they either must stand or get a chair from outside the hall and then sit in the middle of the hall or anywhere available. Thus, exam halls become so crowded that students can't focus on their exam, so they can cheat easily, doing whatever they want. For this reason, there must be sufficient space and halls at Yemeni universities.

To sum up, Yemen's university and school exam system is a lemon and an empty tin can. However, I hope we can change this and develop our nation's education in general and the exam system specifically.