More than 26,000 12th-grade students – nearly 70 percent of the total student candidates for the final high school exams – interacted on the social networking sites of the UAE Ministry of Education, During their first three days of exams, the young respondents actively answered an official Ministry questionnaire aimed at achieving overall satisfaction in the conduct of exams and the performance of examinees. The questionnaire, which also sought to obtain various observations and opinions from students, was posted on the Ministry’s Twitter and Facebook sites.
Official statistics also showed that over 40,000 parents and education specialists engaged with the Ministry’s media sites on a daily basis. From the start of the final exams for the third semester until the present, this particular group has kept pace with breaking news and information related to the examinations and disciplines. They also read through tips and guidance for students as well as other pedagogical subjects.
The Ministry has provided unique ‘smart’ and electronic services before and during examination days targeted at all students but with a particular focus on 12th- graders. It has offered various forms of electronic training for all subjects to prepare students well for their exams. Telephone hotlines have also been made available in educational zones to respond to student inquiries as well as media questions related to the evaluation and administration of exams. The hotlines can also provide information on any comments received by the Ministry from media.
In return for the unique services it provides and its commitment to quality standards, the Ministry has asked 12th-grade students to answer a set of open questions posted on its Twitter and Facebook accounts. Respondents were requested to comment on the extent to which the exam considers individual differences, the time allotted to answer and review each exam item, their personal evaluation of the general environment provided by schools during exams, and the role of parents in motivating students to achieve success and excellence. Student expectations on results and success rates were asked as well.
Students expressed their satisfaction over the general atmosphere provided by the exams committees at schools. They also confirmed the Ministry’s success in ensuring that exam questions are clear – whether in terms of language or formulation – and consider individual differences. Other groups of students commented on how the examination dates coincided with the World Cup games.
Some humorous statements from students reflected their passion for sports and football, saying how they preferred to postpone exams and watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches instead. Other more serious comments showed the eagerness of students to take advantage of every minute for the final review and their expectations of excellent exam results.