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For the past four years, I have been faced with a struggle in my life. This struggle is Olna. For those who do not know of Olna, it stands for Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment. Now let's get something straight here, I am only obligated to do the numeracy assessment as I passed all the literacy assessments in NAPLAN. As I did not pass numeracy in NAPLAN I have been required to do Olna up until now. I just found out today that on my second last chance that I have failed yet again. I now have one last chance in September which is the month I graduate. However, even though it’s the month I graduate, if I do not pass I will not receive a graduate certificate, merely for not passing a numeracy test. I want to let everyone know that my aim for the future is to go to university, I do ATAR and have a predicted 78 WACE score. The only thing that is stopping me is this test. I am a creative person and I excel in my skills and subjects that I do. I know what you are all thinking, “just study more for the next one”. I would like to inform you all, that I studied to my absolute capacity for this previous test but I failed again. Now, I have thought to myself maybe there's something wrong with me because from the first day I can remember I have always struggled with maths and it didn’t matter how much I studied it just wouldn’t make sense. So I looked up if it's possible to be dyslexic in just numeracy and there is something called Dyscalculia. I have asked to be tested but the waiting list is long and a 6-month wait, which is pointless as I am graduating in 3 months. The alternative is to find out without the schools help and pay a hefty amount which I cannot afford. Even if I did find out I have it I would only receive extra time on the Olna test which is not much help.
My argument is that I am just wondering why this is a necessary rule to be incorporated in order to graduate. Why are we not tested on all skills such as sport, the arts, our emotional intelligence and so on? Why is it only mathematics and literacy? Not everyone is born academic and by 2019 I thought that authority and society would understand that. Does that mean if you are not academic you don’t have a right to graduate? I guess none of my other skills really matter since I am not academic enough. The other question I have is, why is Olna only essential for graduation in Western Australia? Does that mean everyone else in Australia can freely graduate without any kind of literacy and numeracy standard? I expect that by doing 12 years of hard work, as I am not a slacker that I can at least graduate but no instead I get a piece of paper saying I have attended school. I didn’t just attend school I worked extremely hard to get where I am but evidently, that's not enough. As I do ATAR at the end of the year I am expected to do WACE examinations. If I do not pass Olna my WACE score will pretty much not matter as I didn’t graduate, so I have to wait a semester before actually starting university because I won't be a WACE graduate. In this time I will be missing out on moving forward in the next chapter of my life, I’ll be left behind.
What I would like to ask everyone to do is please sign this petition as it isn’t only for me but anyone else in the educational system struggling with Olna. In 2019 I expect equality in everything and I expect to graduate with the subjects have chosen and am excelling in not in the ones that I don’t even do. If everyone had to Olna for art, sport, design and tech and everything else, I guarantee only a small sum of people would be graduating. Not everyone can paint like Picasso, or run like an Olympian but does that mean they can’t graduate? I want to graduate with what I excel in, not considering my bad points because everyone is bad at something and not giving them a right to graduate because of it is just cruel. Please help me and anyone else who is going through Olna have the right to graduate as there's nothing worse than being told you can’t start your life because you're not ‘smart’ enough.
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