Daily Phuket #31: 2 April 2021 – Farewell, Students

For the past three days, the students at my school have been taking final exams but today was the last hurrah for them with the morning seeing a distinct carnival atmosphere. This caused a very late start as the M3 students staged a symbolic walk-out; many have elected not to endure the difficult Maths and Sciences exams required to continue to M4 and are leaving the school to enroll in Tech and Trade courses. In fact, my informal polling last week revealed only two of my GEP M3 students would be returning next school year for M4! (This school goes to the M5 grade level and those wishing to continue to M6 before university need to go elsewhere.)

Today’s featured photo is of my students parading towards the main gates, vowing never to return. Of course, they did an about-face at the street as they still had to take their exams to ensure placement in their chosen vocational schools. There were also additional fun & games awaiting them prior to the noon dismissal. I’ve included a few more photos in the slideshow below.

While I was given the exams for the two M4 classes late Wednesday afternoon, I had to wait until after lunch to retrieve the remaining tests. When I arrived to pick them up, they could find those for only two of the classes (80 exams out of nearly 450 I still needed to mark). Also, I was not given an original copy of the test so I could not make an answer key for the multiple choice questions (the answer sheet only had A, B, C or D checked); I ended up just giving all of the students the full nine points added to those I could actually grade. The missing exams were finally located about 90 minutes later (a student had hidden them).

Oh, I forgot to mention that we were texted a message today saying that we needed to finish marking all the exams and upload the test scores by 6 pm tomorrow (Saturday!). For the mid-terms, we were given a week. I did manage to finish all but the last three classes (just over 120 tests) before quitting time and sent a text saying I would finish them Monday morning but have yet to receive a reply (the other teachers had to mark one-page exams for 20-30 students per class; I had two- to three-page exams with 40-45 students per class so I found the deadline more than unreasonable). I could have brought the tests home, but we don’t get paid for grading at home and our contract doesn’t finish until next Friday — so what is the rush?

At least the rain held off (we did have a few more squalls in the afternoon) long enough for me to go to the Philatelic Museum to buy the new Thai Heritage Conservation Day stamps and return home without getting soaked. I will scan the stamps tomorrow as I am fading fast.

2 thoughts on “Daily Phuket #31: 2 April 2021 – Farewell, Students

  1. Does your school have parent-teacher meetings? Mine didn’t have any this year because of the pandemic, but I would think in a school like yours you’d have an awful lot to say to the parents of your students and that would be a deterrent against the kind of rebellious behavior they engage in.

    • Yes, there are parent meetings (and they actually cancelled classes for these a couple of weeks ago) but the foreign teachers were not allowed to attend. It is very frustrating but typically Thai.

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