MacThesis - commercialization of education continues in Poland 04.02.2011 13:52
In a break from traditional academic practices, professors are allowing students to pen theses at the bequest of private firms in a bid to focus on real problems in the real world.
Dr Maciej Kozakiewicz from the University of Lodz says that this year about 100 students from his college will be writing theses in conjunction with banks, technological firms, pharmaceutical companies and other institutions.
“The college and the business sign a contract,” he told the Rzeczpospolita daily. “The student will get two supervisors: one from the college, who will be schooled in the firm, and the second, a specialist from that firm.”
This novel system is already providing bonuses for some students. Karol Prokopowicz, who studied at Krakow's University of Science and Technology (AGH), wrote his diploma in cooperation with the Delphi Technical Centre, firm involved in producing car parts.
Prokopowicz defended his diploma at the university in November 2010, and two months later he began work for the centre.
“Firms not only find future employees amongst the students, but they also conserve the time of their own specialists,” says Bartosz Dembinski, press spokesman for AGH.
I saw my students before and after a final math exam. Their faces looked really scared afterwards - the exam was very difficult.
One in four pupils fails end-of-school exams 30.06.2011 15:49 Out of around 343,000 pupils taking their end of school ‘matura’ exams this year, around 84,000 failed to pass, with exam commissioners pinning the blame on poor maths results.
The figures from this year’s exam results reveal that one quarter of Polish school-leavers did not pass their final exams.
One in ten pupils failed two or more subjects, taking away their right to re-sit their exams in August.
According to exam regulations, pupils who have failed one exam in an obligatory subject have the chance to re-sit before the end of the holidays to make up for the lost grade.
“Maths is the main cause of the problem,” Roman Dziedzic, director of the Regional Exam Board in Jaworzno, southern Poland, told Polish Radio.
The full results of the ‘matura’ examinations, which will include the re-sits, are to be released mid-September.
It seems Polish school has lost its advantage over other schools. It has probably become less restrictive and friendlier to students, but at the cost of lowered level of education. Nothing is for free. I have never had such poor students as this year, they seem not to know basic words which are taught as early as in elementary school, like arm or moustache. They don`t know how to read eye or tall. Their knowledge and skills are generally very low. Of course, most students are OK, but those poorest ones are really tragic.
No wonder. Every year the Education Ministry "improves" the system. 1 year ago I learnt with amazement that I was wrong giving students an immediate F for not bringing their homework. What I am allowed to do is to ask him/her to do this homework during the lesson. Only when they aren`t able to, I may give an F.
Repeating the year was once common, in my primary school we had a few "parachutists" in our class. Now repeating is very rare, teachers prefer to avoid unnessesary trouble (papers, explanations) by promoting all, even hopeless students.
So, with systematically lowered requirements students feel they can go to the dogs without serious consequences for themselves. I mean immediate consequences while still in school, not future ones connected with career making etc.