Every year in the past there has been a designated exam week for students where classes are not in session. This gave students lots of study time to prepare for all of their final exams that week. This year the only provincial exam is the English 12 exam as the three provincials for grade ten students and one for grade eleven students no longer exist. Due to the majority of provincial exams gone, the government has decided to eliminate the exam week this year.
I understand that the district must have students in session for a certain number of days during the semester, but that doesn’t change the anger that students have. Grade 12’s understand the logical reasoning behind having no exam week, but still feel it is unfairly falling on their shoulders. The English 12 provincial is arguably the most important test for high school students as it is worth 40% of your final grade. This test could be the difference for students getting into their preferred university or college. So it is understandable why some grade twelve students are frustrated by this. Students now have their finals more congested which will cause more stress and less study time. We know that what is in place cannot be changed, but students wish that it would have been planned a little bit better so it was easier for them.
Grade 12 student Arezou Amouzandeh created an online petition in protest of having no exam week. “I made the petition because I saw a lot of support for the cause of getting an exam week back. So I thought that since other people agreed with what I believed in, that I could do something as simple as making an online petition,” said Amouzandeh. The online petition got almost 800 signatures from students and teachers across the province. Amouzandeh emailed SD43’s superintendent her petition but never received a response. “I wish we had done it sooner because I think when we did it, it was too late, but if we had done it sooner maybe I could have gotten a response back.”
Students are not the only ones frustrated by this situation. English teacher Ms. Lori Leonard was angry about how illogical the spacing out of the days is and how it affects both students and teachers. “Why would you have it on a day that is two or three days before the end of the semester? What are we supposed to do for the other days afterwards?” Leonard believes that the exam should have been on the final day of the semester, giving students all the time possible to prepare for the exam. “I think that it is a shame all around for people that there are not a few more days off, it creates a huge inconvenience for everybody and doesn’t give people time. It is unfair to students because it doesn’t give them time off to focus on studying, and it is unfair to teachers because we are given almost no time to turn around from one semester into the next and be ready for new classes,” said Leonard.
Students and teachers from all over the province are angered and have opinions on how this exam week should have been planned. The entire situation was poorly planned and falls unfairly on everyone’s shoulders, especially the students. Although the government’s hands were tied with the amount of days they had to work with, it affects the students unfairly.