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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 7. June 9, 1943

Editorial — Examinations and the Army


Examinations and the Army

The publication of marks for the term examinations in the Science Faculty raises an urgent problem: What is to be done with students who are too lazy or too dull to make reasonable progress? Should we give them another chance or should they be removed and the way left open for those who are doing better work?

There are two related problems to consider: What is best for those whose marks fall below 25%; and also, what is best for their fellow-students.

In peace time the University refuses responsibility for tail-enders. Their time is their own and they can waste it if they want to.

But can such an easy-going attitude be condoned in war time? Is the University playing fair with the people of New Zealand by allowing sluggards and dullards to shelter within its walls? Can it be honestly said that anyone is of more value to the war effort when getting 15% in a Stage I subject than when working in a factory or on a farm?

This tail-end contributes nothing to the progress of a class, and everyone knows that this year Science classes are larger and more cumbersome than ever before. Contrary to common belief this expansion is not greater than would have been expected for 1943 if the peace time rate of increase had been maintained.

But unfortunately there has not been a corresponding increase in teaching facilities and staff, and while the war lasts no improvement in this direction is to be expected.

With overcrowding on every hand, should time, energy and valuable material be wasted on students who can only drag along 20% below the lowest terms mark?

The removal of those with low marks would do much to relieve the congestion without materially affecting the number of graduates, and it is graduates we want, good graduates, the best our facilities can produce.

At the Undergrads. Supper Dave Cohen urged us to study as we have never studied before. What is to be done with students who are unable or unwilling to profit from Varsity courses? students who are hindering others without benefiting themselves.

Should the Professorial Board recommend the removal of those whose marks indicate lack of work or lade of brains? or should nothing be done and these slackers be allowed to fritter away another term in idleness or poker playing?

—I. McD.