135 students fail exam at university

Peeter Lorents

PHOTO: Küllike Rooväli

Estonian Information Technology College teacher Peeter Lorents flunked 94 per cent of first-year students at an exam this spring, wherefore the latter demand, in a petition filed to college leadership, the immediate removal of the man from provision of education.

Also, the students desire that the grades gotten by them during the course would be reassessed according to the achievements of the top student. Meaning that if the best student earned 90 points from 100 available, the maximum result would be that very 90. Thus, they might score a positive result with 46 points, for instance.

In addition to that, the students demand the removal of the «ridiculous» exam and test passing levels, as well as opportunities to take the re-examination free of charge.

Request and counter-request

As of last night, the petition had been signed by 73 students. The joint application was substantiated by various points, starting with the allegedly unprofessional behaviour of the teacher and ending with unclear assessment criteria. According to the students, Mr Lorents displays a haughty attitude towards them, the school and his colleagues, being late for lectures and practical trainings. As stated in the petition, the logics and algorithm theory teacher left the exam after five minutes.

The students say that Mr Lorents’ consultations and practical trainings are insufficient to take the tests; the teacher being incapable to teach his subject, forwarding no information concerning tests and make-up tests.

According to Mr Lorents, the students have the right to desire that he be fired. «I, in my turn, desire that they return the state money that they have wasted on merrymaking, unfair ways of obtaining the answers etc, instead of studies. Someday, this has come to an end!» said he.

According to the teacher, cheating at test and exams has become colossal. As an example, he described experiments of his, on students. In the first case, he marginally altered the input data of former years’ tests. The experiment resulting in loads of former years’ answers – now wrong due to the changes.

«Just imagine, they never even took the trouble to read the entire question, brazenly filling in answers they had somehow managed to acquire,» said Mr Lorents.

Another method used by the teacher were the «collective farm» tests, resulting in students agreeing upon a so called lead-solver. Thus, the mass of the tests became uniform, as they proceeded to copy typos, irrelevant characters and other kinds of junk.

«The problem is of a serious nature. The students think they have a God given right to get their grades no matter how, excluding methodical studies… All hopes are cast on answer versions available on the Internet, copying from others etc,» he said.

Conflict with foreign student

Mr Lorents said that, academically speaking, some people are uneducated, which problem has to be uprooted. «This has become absolutely unbearable! Somebody has to draw the line,» he said.

Mr Lorents added that, unlike other teachers, he has let the students try again and again, as many times as they have desired. According to him, other teachers only give two extra tries to take the exam, after failure. «I know I’m rather a laughing stock, because of that,» said he.

When it comes to students even accusing him in racism and intolerance, Mr Lorents thinks this is due to a foreign student – one among the complainers – who has stretched his studies out at great lengths. With him, Mr Lorents had a conflict, for that very reason, before the semester ended – the teacher warning the student of him bringing shame on his homeland.

IT College has launched an internal investigation. Mr given his testimony and stands his ground: no concessions.