Friday, 7 February 2014

Desperate begging letters

All very sad - the papers multi-marked, the grades entered and the studes mostly passed, well they ought to have as so much in the final exam had been covered including a couple of the easy unexercising essay titles. The upstanding British government provider of dodgy exams for wannabe migrants - the integrity filled for profit only ETS would have even been shamed...well, possibly not. Still, it seemed a friendly gift from those lovely folk in the testing department.  Those students on their third and final attempt even had the pass mark reduced to much mumbled mithering and furrowing of brows, shaking of heads,  and wholehearted lack of understanding from the hard-nosed westerners doing boring and staid things like well, following the guidelines and criteria. My local colleagues were more understandably understanding, or perhaps, if being ungracious, one might say over-indulgent of fellow futile failed members of the tribe / region / religion and would maybe move to make a clear Fail a euphemistic Partial Success (yes I know) and a PS a healthy high-fibre Pass by bumping the percentages up a few small notches. It goes on in the UK and other places too, I have been grubbily part of it simply following orders at the shit East Kent Coastal academy at which I lost some of my life. Sadly the sea has not reclaimed it yet and pulled it Carrie-like into Hades...then again that part of East Kent may perhaps already be have been claimed by Hades. I digress, I hate to be part of that - but at least after much arguing we have got double blind marking in. About time too but not much will change until IELTS or some such is brought in before students need to go overseas for an all expenses paid MA. Nice.

For sure it is not the most academically rigourous of places and wilfully blinded eyes are turned from the blatant cheating / helping that goes on among the studes (and indeed teachers) to the righteous huffing and puffing of some folk who then cannot be bothered to follow it up thus making Us and Them complicit. Cheating is not a concept widely understood - a cooperative spirit is entrenched by religion and of course the needs of generations of life in a horribly harsh inhospitable climate so yes, I can understand the difficulty people have in being told by a godless foreigner not to your tribal cousin or family member or co-religionist? Moreover, there is a largely unspoken understanding that the Wise Leader does not want bored, angry and frustrated young people going around ungainfully employed not least as that could lead to another leak in power and authority and that would never do, so just pass everyone or at least give them Partial Success otherwise it's the inevitably futile attempt at getting an IELTS 5 to continue as many of our studes, especially the boys are simply not capable or arsed to try do that.

So while supposedly enjoying my break in the sodden, wind, rain and sewage lashed south of England I am being inundated by begging mails from desperate boys asking me to check their triple checked marks for all sorts of errors beyond theirs. They will have to either re-do the year or term or try to pull a bit of wasta (influence) with the Powers That Be none of whom are godless infidels. Those students that succeeded sent me lots of rightfully happy emails praising Allah with no mention of their teachers. Those that failed of course blame the teachers and NOT the most munificent Allah who pre-ordained  their futile failure. Good logic at work as ever. 

....but (sighs) as it is all the Will of Allah does any of it really matter...?