Majority of Kaikoura students rely on emergency grading rather than sit exams

By Sarah Harris

Three students did the morning home economic and chemistry exams and one student sat an exam in the afternoon. Photo / 123RF
Three students did the morning home economic and chemistry exams and one student sat an exam in the afternoon. Photo / 123RF

Just one determined student turned up for the afternoon exams at Kaikoura High School today.

The school opened their doors for the second week of exams after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake shattered any chance of holding them during the first week.

Three students did the morning home economic and chemistry exams and one student in the afternoon. The school has 197 students from Year 7 to Year 13.

Kaikoura High School deputy principal Gayle Cameron didn't expect too many students to turn up. Since all the students are entitled to an emergency derived grade, those who know they have enough credits don't need to sit the exam to pass, she said.

"Some have left town, some are on the other side of the blockage, someone was really traumatised because their whole family home was destroyed and they're busy feeding stock.

"If they need their credits in order to pass they'll be making every attempt to turn up."

The derived grade is taken from how well the student did in their practice exam. If they choose to sit the formal exam their best grade out of the two assessments will be used to take into consideration the trauma they have been through, Cameron said.

"Some want to sit the exam because they feel they can do better... Whatever is highest is the one that's used. Which is pretty fair."

Cameron said students missed out on 22 exams last week but none of the students would have been in the right frame of mind to sit them.

"A lot of them have put in a lot of study. The timing is just so bad.

"We just wanted to give those students the opportunity to have a bit of a normal life to come in and sit their exams the same as everyone else in the country."

Acting Civil Defence Minster Gerry Brownlee, right, makes a visit to Kaikoura High School to help assess earthquake damage following the earthquakes. Photo / Supplied
Acting Civil Defence Minster Gerry Brownlee, right, makes a visit to Kaikoura High School to help assess earthquake damage following the earthquakes. Photo / Supplied

Two girls who live up the coast have gone to Marlborough to sit their exams as they can't get down to Kaikoura.

Principal John Tait is impressed with the students that did turn up.

"Good on them for being so focused. It can't be easy. Sitting an exam during a disaster, you're asking a lot from people."

- NZ Herald

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