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Friday, 20 February 2009

The "dedicated fellows hypothesis", revist'd...

Another interesting Parliamentary exchange earlier this month :

Hon Kambwili (MP, Roan): Mr Speaker, the issue of examination leakages and malpractices is alien to Zambia. It has only been heard of in the last five or six years. What has gone wrong with the education system for there to be so many malpractices and leakages?

Professor Lungwangwa (Minister of Education): Mr Speaker, it is not the examination system which has gone wrong, but some bad elements within the education system. This includes pupils and teachers. These are the elements we are dealing with to ensure that we protect the integrity and credibility of our quality assurance system. We are working on this and taking measures to ensure that the integrity and credibility of our examination system is protected.

The "dedicated fellows hypothesis" rears its ugly head again (see previous variants here and here). So it is the pupils and teachers' fault that they find a strong incentive to cheat? Lungwangwa is meant to be an academic but he fails to recognise people respond to incentives. Pupils and teachers are acting rationally in face of a poor institutional framework that exists. Fix that and all will be well. So yeah, Hon Kambwili is correct, its the education system that has gone wrong.

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