We applaud our colleagues for coming forward and exposing one of our problems at Berbice Campus. However, there is another issue which the administration has failed to address. Last academic year, one lecturer taught five courses to one group of first-year students and two of the same courses to two other first-year groups. For the courses we were given three sets of course work assessments. In each course we received the grade for the first assessment. We did not receive the marked papers or grades for any other assessment. We went into the final exams unaware of our final course work grades. When our results for the courses were published at the end of the semester, we were in shock and dismay.
The lecturer awarded mainly Ds and Fs from a non-transparent process. Committed and dedicated students who were never absent from classes and who had earned As in the first assessments were not spared the Ds and Fs. Students who had consistently earned As in their other courses received the same treatment. The combination of Ds and Fs destroyed the GPAs of dedicated and committed students.
Desperate and frustrated, we sought the advice of a lecturer who referred our concern to the administration and directed us to a process where we requested a Dean’s review of the conduct of the courses. Some of us who could have afforded the cost to review an exam grade applied for reviews. By the way, some of our colleagues who had failed one of these courses did the course when it was conducted in the summer by another lecturer. They received As and Bs. To date, we have not heard from the administration. Our issue remains unresolved and we are coming to the end of yet another semester.
Mr. Minister of Education, like our colleagues who appealed to you before, we are pleading for the transformation of UG to begin in the classroom. Our letter is not a personal attack on any lecturer, for we have dedicated and committed full-time lecturers who encourage us to excel and are happy when we do so. Some of our part-time lecturers leave a lot to be desired, and we are totally against a system that allows one person to initiate students into UG with five courses and play God with their future.
Mr. Minister, we are not saying that students cannot earn Ds and Fs. Our issue is that each student deserves to earn each grade through a transparent process. We are begging you, Mr. Minister, to use your good office and make the administration show us how we moved from As to Ds and Fs, produce our marked assessments for all of the affected courses and review our grades. Out of fear of victimization, we have agreed not to sign our names.
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