It’s back to exam hall for parents in Dubai, for a cause


It’s back to exam hall for parents in Dubai, for a cause

Student invigilators keep an eye as parents take test to raise money for Dubai Autism Centre.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Mon 20 Apr 2015, 12:21 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:50 PM

PEP TALK ... A poster teasing parents about taking an exam during the Test4Good event in The Winchester School, Dubai, recently. — KT photo by Muaz Shabandri

Dubai — Taking a test can be scary, especially if you haven’t taken one in a while. This was the consensus among parents walking out of an examination hall invigilated by students.

In a complete reversal of roles, students took on the role of exam invigilators, as parents sweated it out in the exam hall.

“It was a peculiar feeling to take on the role of a teacher. I just rea-lised everyone gets nervous when it comes to exams and even as adults, the nervousness remains,” said Anjanette Jianna Umali, a student at The Winchester School in Jebel Ali. Anjanette was one of the few students selected to be the exam invigilator at the special test event.

Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is hosting the ‘Test4Good’ event across schools, inviting parents to donate money for the Dubai Autism Centre. The initiative gives parents an opportunity to revisit their school days by taking a test that is invigilated and evaluated by students.

Interestingly, the papers were handed to school officials by kung fu warriors, who put up a special display of their fighting prowess inside the school campus in Jebel Ali.The question papers posed questions faced by Grade 4 and Grade 8 students in international assessment exams.

These tests are taken by students in many countries, allowing policy makers to compare the effectiveness of their education pro-grammes with that of other na-tions. For Ranju Anand, principal of The Winchester School, seeing the parents sit with nervousness inside the exam hall was a reminder of how stressful exams can be.

“Parents should develop a sense of empathy to know what their children go through when they write a test. When parents are more stressed, they pass on that stress to their children. I believe each child should have a competitive spirit of their own and not compete with others,” said Anand.

Kinda Alkateb was one of the parents who had come early to take the test at school. She said the experience was inspiring.

“The test itself was easy but I must admit it is a very different feeling to be in the shoes of a student. I like connecting with teachers and this was a good initiative where we could share experiences with other parents,” said Alkateb.

Another parent, Irum Rizvi, said, “As a parent, it was amazing to go back to exam days. Just for 20 minutes, the roles were reversed and I think I would go home appreciating my children even more. I would definitely be kinder to my children after this experience.

”Results from the 30-minute ex-amination are not publicly shared, though parents can compete against each other if they wish. Test4Good, which began on February 23, will run until April 30.


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