Friday, 24 October 2014

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Diwali Invitation
I was invited to a company Diwali celebration held in Lautoka. It was so nice to see all the staff having lunch together. It likened the scene to a family gathering, a large family.

We had entertainment, nice food, soft drinks, sweets and because there are so many subsidiary companies and the staffing so big they got to meet each other.

Then there were prizes for the best dressed men and women and it was nice to see non Hindus dressed elegantly in Indian traditional costumes and winning prizes.
Some organisations, when having large number of employees simply have section parties. Why not have one huge gathering so that staff get to meet each other and executives don't have to make excuses because they can't attend all the section parties. The different sections can take responsibilities and cook one pot each.
Having company socials or lunches is a good team building exercise. try in in your work place and see the difference.And just have the CEO make one speech.

Diwali and Firecrackers
I guess many citizens, there will a few, can no longer enjoy the sound of exploding firecrackers.

Anyway, a few days away from the "Festival of Lights", many of my neighbours are showing their delight and lighting firecrackers that can rock you to the very foundations of your being. The other night I had to put my two eyeballs back into their sockets when what I thought was the sound of a howitzer exploded near my bedroom window.

Whew, lucky for me the running stomach I  had, finished two days ago. With eyes popped out and a bad stomach, the scene would be too disgusting to describe.

In what I will refer to as my younger years, I WAS a firecracker. The neighbours loved me. Today the slightest sound of a pop and I can hit the ceiling like a frightened cat.

To all citizens who still love the sound of firecrackers, please understand us. Please don't tell us to take a hike. We are part of the citizenry. We now prefer the slight pop of a champagne bottle or a cold Fiji bitter, and a lit candle with no kids or grand kids around.

I prefer just me and my wife sitting in silence, staring at the stars and and the murmur of our hearts speaking to each other.


Happy Diwali, everyone.

Examination Mark Scaling

Marks scaling in exam has been a topic that has baffled lots of uninformed people.

We now have a very good person at the helm of the Ministry of Education in Dr. Reddy.

Please Sir, could you enlighten those who believe that marks of students who score high marks are scaled and added to those who score low marks.

Please tell them that it doesn't work like that.

Bula Allen,

No need to ask the Minister. Ask the media.  This is the sort of background information they should be providing on all important issues so that the public can understand the published "news". Think how poorly the Fiji public have been informed on critical political issues such as the supposed threat to Taukei land ownership, indigenous rights and a secular state. Freedom of speech and democracy can be so easily abused if an uninformed public has to choose between opinions when it has not first been provided with the facts.

On scaling, be assured the high marks of some students are not added to the low marks of other students. The main purpose of scaling is to obtain consistency across subjects, and between markers. In this way the average score in Maths, for example, is scaled to be the same as the average score in English, or if not the same, it is scaled to a pre-determined pass rate, i.e., the proportion of students who will pass each exam. This is where scaling can be contentious because it assumes all subjects are not equal, and that some are easier or harder than others.

Scaling is also sometimes used on trial exam papers to ensure reasonable consistency between markers in each subject. Thus, examiners whose marks are consistently much high or lower than those of other markers are scaled down or up to bring them in line with other markers.  If there were no scaling, results could be very unfair because they would depend on which subject a student took and which marker marked his or her paper.

For the record, in what now appears to be a previous life, I marked Geography papers in NZ School Certificate, and was the assistant or chief examiner in the University Bursary and Scholarship exams, and the only examiner of the Tongan School Leaving certificate.


Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

1 comment:

  1. The marking business is pretty much another relic of colonialism. Time to dump it.
    Would I trust Croz Walsh to mark my paper on anything? No.
    The world has moved on as New Zealand systems and the Croz Walsh's of the world remain mired in old myths and refuse to face new realities. Go to Finland, Mr. Walsh and see what the Finns do in the area of education.


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