June 24, 2014
Principals herald CPEA a success

Principals of some of the students who placed among the top 10 in the inaugural Caribbean Primary Examinations Assessment (CPEA) are heralding the examination as a success, and believe that the system could only get better with time.{{more}}

Gillian Dougan, head teacher at the Calliaqua Anglican School, told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday that her school continues to receive outstanding results in the primary schools’ exit examination, even though it is through a different format.

The school recorded an 85 per cent pass rate this year from the 40 students who sat the examination.

“We did very well last year as well; we had a second last year.

“The requirements of this exam entails the students doing more reading and the projects that were given call for more involvement, so it is making them more rounded,” Dougan noted.

Her school produced the student who placed ninth overall this year, in the person of 11-year-old Jamar Murray.

At the Union Methodist Primary School (also known as the New Grounds Primary School), head teacher Sheldon Govia noted that the new format offers assistance to the slower students, giving them an opportunity to get more help from their teachers and fellow students.

He said that the introduction of the CPEA was not without its hiccups at his school.

“At first we had some problems,” Govia said.

“As a new exam, the whole structure of the examination in terms of not understanding certain things, especially in the project area.

“But in terms of the whole assessment with the students, it’s a benefit for them, because you have the students working in groups; those who are slow actually learn from those who can perform well, so it helped them a lot to do a lot of research.

“The students are the ones who did the research and that was a real plus for the students. In the other areas like the book reports and so, it helped with their reading and repeating what they actually read, and those are some of the areas where the students benefitted internally.”

The head teachers agree that they and their teachers would be assessing the CPEA, and intend to do more to help their students in the upcoming year.

At the Sugar Mill Academy, head teacher Liz Cordice told SEARCHLIGHT that it was an all round challenging year, because of the transition from a known to unknown situation.

She said the change was welcomed, however, because the examination helped all students of different learning abilities to be more successful.

She also gave credit to the Ministry of Education for its assistance with the implementation of the CPEA.

“Here at the Sugar Mill Academy we are always striving for our kids to excel and to do better and to do something over until you get it better and do the best that you can; so, we are always going to treat everything as a challenge and encourage our children to do the same, which is to strive for excellence.

“I think hats off to the Ministry of Education. It was a challenge for them as much as it was for the schools and they really did their best to help us here at Sugar Mill Academy in terms of the questions we had, and the inspectors that came around and passed the knowledge to us, and anything they did not know, they made sure to get back to us with the answers. They were a very good support system for something that was new to everybody.”(JJ)