Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 16. August 2, 1939

Efficiency Tests and the University

Efficiency Tests and the University

For those civil servants who are either undergraduates or graduates the proposed introduction of Efficiency Examinations must come as an unpleasant surprise. Although the Public Service Commissioner's power to impose such examinations has been contained in the Public Service Act since 1912 it has never been necessary to apply it, except in certain cases where the department requires a special knowledge of some Act or section of the law, or where an officer has not passed the University Entrance Examination.

As the tests are apparently to apply, without exception, to both clerical and professional divisions, and will be extended until the civil servant has reached a high rate of salary, the prospects are that the latter will be sitting examinations until he is well on into his forties. And even then there is little guarantee that promotion will follow for the successful examinee.

There is also another aspect of the question, in that the Efficiency Tests are now to have a primary importance and degree and professional examinations are to be relegated to a secondary position. That this fact will discourage civil servants from attending University must naturally follow. In the past, considerable weight has been given to the case for promotion of the degree holder, but that will now to a large extent be lost. A further factor that will discourage the prospective undergraduate is that if he takes University lectures he will have to sit three different sets of exams.—Terms, the annual University, and the Civil Service Efficiency Tests. Already overburdened with night lectures, the civil servant will be forced to choose that course which will be most beneficial to him from a promotion point of view, which will be to let University degrees slide and concentrate on the new basis for advancement—the Efficiency Tests.

In addition to these objections, the almost universal condemnation of the examination system by educational experts in favour of accrediting on a basis of actual work performed, and the Public Service Commissioner's action seems to be not only a retrograde one but also one that is not in conformance with modern educational research.