Attempts to redress flaws in the Ordinary National Education Tests (Onet) exams will disadvantage students planning to reapply to university using their previous scores, education experts say.
On Monday, the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (Niets) admitted that the Onet exam in science sat by Mathayom 6 (Grade 12) students was flawed. Several questions were repeated or missing.
Niets blamed the errors on a computer system failure and decided to give 24 extra marks to all 400,000 students who took the test.
Some teachers, however, have pointed out that the free marks are unfair because students who sat the earlier Onet exam in October would not benefit from the score boost.
Under the Office of the Basic Education Commission's (Obec) policy, the average Onet scores will be used to calculate students' GPAs.
Students who use scores from the previous round of Onet exams to reapply for university admission would be at a disadvantage because their Onet scores and GPAs will not have benefited from the extra 24 marks, said Sathon Wicharnwannalak, a physics lecturer at Chulalongkorn University.
Sompong Jitradub, an education lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, said Niets should not have handed out free marks to deal with the faulty test.
Niets should hold a new round of Onet science exams, he said.
He added that several mistakes have harmed the credibility of Niets, an organisation that measures and assesses the academic achievement of all students.Arwut Srisukri, secretary-general of the Consortium of Thai Medical Schools, said the consortium will call a meeting in April to discuss the bungled tests. It will consider whether the medical schools should continue to use Onet scores among admission criteria.
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana rejected the proposal to hold a new round of Onet science exams.
He said another test would waste students' time. Giving them the extra marks was the best move, he said.
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- Writer: Lamphai Intathep