By Vic Odarve

 Let’s take a look on how the students performed last semester. This class of 440 students was undoubtedly large.

 As in most African universities this school has its own grading scheme. Components composing the final grade are continuous assessments (CA) and final exam. Maximum marks for CA is 30 while for Final exam is 70. Total is 100 marks or points. Students must get at least a total of 40 points in order to pass the course. It can be from CA or Final exam or both. Table 1 shows the grading scheme and its equivalent score range. Continuous assessment or CA generally consists of assignments, attendance, and class participation. Final exam score is the one obtained by the student during final examination.

Table 1. Grading Scheme

Table 1. Grading Scheme

 Table 2 showed the percent profile of the grade distribution in the last semester. Out of 440 students in the class, only 320 passed (73%) and 120 failed (27%) Majority of the students who passed the course obtained a C grade or its total equivalent marks of 50 – 59.

Table 2. Grades distribution

Table 2. Grades distribution

 Table 3 showed the different contributing factors why students failed to pass the course. As shown, majority failed to pass the course due to poor performance during final exam (48%) and followed by no assignments (40%).

Table 3. Failing grades distribution

Table 3. Failing grades distribution

 Teachers are like gardeners planting seeds in the fields. They planted wisdom to the minds of the students in the classroom. Some learned the lessons quickly while others did not! Even Jesus, the greatest teacher of all time, lamented on the outcome of his preaching through parable from Matthew 13: 4-8.

 4 Jesus said, “The sower went out to sow and, as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path and the birds came and ate them up.

5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground where there was little soil, and the seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was not deep.

6 But as soon the sun rose the plants were scorched and withered because they had no roots.

7 Again other seeds fell among thistles; and the thistles grew and choked the plants.

8 Still other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop; some produced a hundredfold, others sixty and others thirty.

 This happened 2000 years ago! Today the same thing happens in our classroom. We plant seeds to the students. Some may sprout and others do not.

 And what is on the statistics? The statistics demonstrates that the grade distributions are scattered. This shows that students are struggling to obtain good grades. Why? Because grades are earned and are not given! But as always be in the minds of the lecturer, if there are winners there are also losers. The trend seems to fit the parable.

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