Pupils across the country will from today commence the 2017 sitting of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). The scheduled assessment will be conducted today [Wednesday April 12] and tomorrow [Thursday April 13].
The assessment is designed to determine where pupils are likely to undertake their secondary education.
The Ministry of Education had been utilising social media and text messaging services to issue reminders that were intended to help pupils prepare for the assessment.
In an advisory issued by text messaging service, the Ministry urged that “children should read each question carefully before attempting it. Look out for words such as NOT, EXCEPT or NEVER,” the Ministry urged in its message.
Grade Six pupils were required to sit three mock examinations earlier this year in preparation for the NGSA.
Pupils are usually tested in the subject areas of Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies at the NGSA. Mathematics has been one of the areas that the pupils have, over the years, been showing severe signs of weakness. This had, moreover, prompted a Governmental order for measures to be engaged by the Education Ministry to address poor performances in Mathematics.
Chief Education Officer [ag], Mr. Marcel Hutson, during an interview with this publication, revealed that the Ministry had introduced measures that were directing keen focus on helping pupils to apply problem-solving skills.
”I think that over the years, when we look back at the statistics, when we would have done the analysis, we would have seen that they experienced difficulties in problem solving or higher order thinking and I believe the kind of approach that we are seeing now are those approaches to address these difficulties. The measures that we have implemented are geared to get our children to become solution oriented with regards to the problems they would have seen,” Hutson explained during an earlier interview with this publication.
He added, “We don’t want our children to give up and say this is too difficult a problem for me to solve, but by having the exposure and the experience I think that over time our children will become better and better.”
As part of the measures to address the performances in Mathematics, aimed at improving the NGSA performances, were the hiring of monitors and coordinators. This aspect has been deemed difficult, according to Hutson who also noted that “these persons are tasked with focusing specifically on Maths in the school system.”
Hutson is confident that the efforts plugged into preparing the pupils will translate to improved Mathematics performances at this year’s NGSA.
Pupils will participate in English and Science Papers One and Two today and Mathematics and Social Studies Papers One and Two tomorrow.
Based on an advisory issued by the Education Ministry Minister, Rupert Roopnaraine will today visit pupils of Plaisance and Bel Air Primary Schools ahead of the start of the assessment.