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Agency admits error in ONET exam paper

The National Institute of Educational Testing Services (NIETS) yesterday admitted that a question in the Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET)'s art exam paper for Mathayom 3 students contained an error, adding that the agency would give all test-takers 2.5 points for the question.

NIETS director Samphan Phanphruek also affirmed that the agency would strictly check the Mathayom 6 O-NET papers in exams to be held on February 15-16, to ensure such an incident wouldn't re-occur.

The move followed an Internet viral post referring to an exam question about a National Artist's name, which was misspelled, leading to criticism over the NIETS' standards in exam-paper production, and raising students' hopes of getting free points on such a mistake.

Samphan said that the initial probe found the mistake occurred during the proof-reading process, resulting in National Artist Jamriang Putpradap's name being written as Jamriang Pornpradap. As a result of the error, the question was deemed to have no correct answer, and the exam committee and NIETS agreed to give all test-takers the free 2.5 points.

Meanwhile, caretaker Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng commented that the process of putting together exams might have some mistakes, which was acceptable, but the agency needed to improve and to prevent such mistakes. Although there were some mistakes in the exam papers for O-NET, it was still better than having schools conduct tests themselves because O-NET was a national-level standardised test that could determine the students' and schools' quality, he added.

In related news, Office of Vocational Education Commission (Ovec) secretary-general Chaiyaphruek Serirak commented on the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (Public Organisation)'s proposal to scrap the O-NET and V-NET (Vocational National Education test) scores as indicators in the quality assessment of educational institutions for 2016-2020 out of concerns over the tests' standard. He expressed his personal view that he agreed with the idea not to include the test scores as a factor to assess schools because the V-NET still measured basic knowledge while vocational education's core aim is to develop practical skills. However, Samphan insisted O-NET and V-NET tests were effective national-level and standardised tests.




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