Applauding or Criticising the Announcement of the Best School and Student in the National Examination: Which Way to Go?
Keywords:Applauding, criticising, best school, best student, national examination
AbstractOn 29th January 2023, the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) stopped announcing the best-performing schools and students. The announcement drew mixed reactions (some applauding or criticising) among education stakeholders. Using a descriptive survey design, this quantitative study specifically identified reasons for the applause or criticism; compared statistically the identified reasons; and the private and public education stakeholders on the announcement. The questionnaires were used to collect data from 500 stakeholders who were selected through a multi-stage sampling technique in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Mbeya, and Dodoma cities. The collected data were analysed using Descriptive Statistics and Independent t-tests. The findings indicate that, the applauding reasons include different study environments; no longer motivation for studying, improved understanding and restoring original logic of schooling. Other reasons are the announcement served no good purpose; the announcement marketed the schools; and it was not fair to compare schools using the British and NECTA systems. Contrarily, the criticism reasons are the Government escapism from under-investment in public schools; denying of information to education researchers; suppressing information and putting society in the dark; removing the incentives for students; cause unforeseen consequences; leader’s in-charge subjectivity/selfishness move and the Council ignores the foundational reason for the announcement. Furthermore, there is a very minimal statistically significant difference between the reasons for applauding (M=3.611, SD=.825) and the reasons for criticising (M=3.645, SD=.829) the announcement. The t-test results portrayed no statistically significant difference between the private and public education stakeholders on the announcement. Therefore, none is more powerful than the other between the applause and criticism of the announcement. The private and public education stakeholders should look for an alternative approach to improving results in the national examinations than depending on the announcement of the best schools and students.