With flooding in Guyana officially reaching a national disaster level that may persist until July – August, the Ministry of Education (MoE) is currently assessing to determine what alternative arrangements, if any, would need to be put in place for affected learners who are preparing to write national examinations in the coming weeks.
Several regions across the country have been particularly hard hit by the flooding situation, which has now compounded the already challenging COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle on Sunday, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, said that the ministry is keeping an eye on the situation.
“We’re looking to see where schools are that may be affected and what might be alternatives in place for CXC students. At this stage, we’re just assessing,” Manickchand noted.
On Thursday last, President Dr. Irfaan Ali declared the situation a national disaster with Regions Two, Five, Six, Seven and Ten being listed as the worst affected Regions.
In some cases, schools are being used as shelters for evacuated residents.
Grade Six pupils across the country will be writing the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) on August 4 – 5, while Grades 11, 12 and 13 students will be writing their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations beginning from June 28.
Last Wednesday and Thursday, several grade six pupils wrote their first mock NGSA; over 85 per cent participated in the voluntary preliminary assessment. However, several pupils wrote the assessments on Friday and some are slated to write on Monday because they were affected by flooding and other situations. Pupils were also given the option of doing the assessment at home.
However, this will not be the case for the official assessment in August, where pupils will have to do same at school.
The CSEC and CAPE students are currently capitalising on a two-week extension on the commencement of their exams, which had been originally scheduled to begin on June 14. The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) took the decision to push back the examinations due to several Caribbean nations dealing with national disasters.
Aside from Guyana, the St Vincent and the Grenadines has been dealing with its volcanic eruptions, which largely affected the island and several other sister islands, including Barbados. There is also a state of emergency in Trinidad as it relates to COVID-19.