Ministry of Education, Guyana

Wednesday, 06 July 2016 00:00

Quality of Assessments to be improved with CXC’s support – Education Minister

Strategic collaborations between the Ministry of Education and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) are expected to improve the quality of all primary grade assessments.This disclosure was yesterday made by Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, during a televised unveiling of the 2016 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) held at the National Centre for Educational Resource 2015 09 18 pic1

According to the Minister, his Ministry has already commenced collaboration with CXC.
To this end, local teachers, subject specialists and test development officers were tasked with developing all items for the 2016 NGSA, with the technical guidance of CXC. The support from CXC also included making the local professionals competent to address key areas such as item construction, weighting of items, sampling and other psychometric elements.
According to Minister Roopnaraine, “the objective of this consultation is to ensure that all assessments conform to regional and international test development and administration standards and expectations to facilitate consistent, reliable measurement and tracking of pupil performance.”
The 2016 NGSA was written on April 27 and 28. A total of 14, 386 candidates were assessed in the subject areas of Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and English Language.
According to Minister Roopnaraine, among the areas tested for each subject were: Mathematics – Knowledge, Algorithmic Thinking, Reasoning; Science – Knowledge, Comprehension, Application; Social Studies – Knowledge, Conceptual Understanding, Use of Knowledge and English Language – Reading, Comprehension and Vocabulary: Structure and Mechanics; Content, Focus, Vocabulary; Language and Organization.
The highest possible standardized scores obtainable were Mathematics – 162, English – 138, Social Studies–134 and Science – 149. The highest possible total score obtainable was 583.
The top performers, Anthony Ferreira and Aryan Singh both secured a score of 568.
They are both eligible to attend Queen’s College. In fact pupils who score up to 541 marks can attend the country’s premier secondary school.
The debate about President’s College (PC) being named a top school was again yesterday clarified by Minister Roopnaraine who pointed out that while PC is one of the ‘A’ schools in Region Four, non-residential places are awarded to candidates in Region Four from Mahaica to Cummings Lodge, who have attained a minimum score of 493 marks. However, residential places are offered to candidates from Regions One, Two, Five Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and 10 who have attained scores of 493 marks and above.
A total of 225 candidates from schools in Regions One, Two, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and 10 are eligible for entry into the school.
The cut off score for The Bishops’ High School is 531, while the score for St. Stanislaus College is 522, St. Rose’s High 516 and St. Joseph High (508).
Overall Subject Analysis
According to the Minister, while the performance in English Language and Social Studies this year has been consistent with previous years, this was not the same for Mathematics and Science. Both fell below what was obtained in previous years, he admitted.
The Minister divulged that the pupils who secured the highest marks in the subject area of English are: Annalisa Charles (Leonora Primary); Jordan Nelson (New Guyana School); Marissa Mal (Providence Primary); Latannei Schultz (St Therese Primary) and Bhnaymattie Harnauth (Success Elementary). The best performance in Mathematics was secured by one of the top national performances, Aryan Singh (Dharmic Rama Krishna), who also produced the best performance in Social Studies.
The best science performers in Science this year are: Annandi Diaram (Valmiki Vidyalaya); Raoul Nicholls (New Guyana School) and Muhammed Hassad (Al Ghazali Islamic).
The Ministry, according to Minister Roopnaraine, is currently conducting an analysis to ascertain the specific areas in which pupils experienced the greatest difficulty. He disclosed that the ministry has made concerted efforts to include items that would stimulate critical and higher level thinking.
The Minister highlighted that “the analysis of the 2016 assessment results will have deep implications for the instructional approaches adopted by teachers going forward.”
He asserted yesterday too that “the practices of drilling and teaching to the test that had been adopted over the years, will do little to benefit pupils in this new dispensation.” As such, the Minister assured that “work will be continued throughout the system to ensure that teachers focus on fully teaching the appropriate concepts and raise pupils’ competence levels rather than employing the antiquated traditional approaches.”


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