Government giving every student a fair chance to perform well – Minister
June 20, 2023
Government giving every student a fair chance to perform well – Minister

MINISTER OF EDUCATION Curtis King has congratulated students on their performance in the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) as he informed the public that just because a child attends a school in Kingstown, it does not mean that they would automatically perform well.

The preliminary results which were released by the Ministry of Education on Friday, June 9, indicated that of the 1702 Grade Six students registered, 1693 wrote the final examination.

It also stated that preliminary results for 2023, indicate that 85.17 percent or 1,442 students, met the prescribed standard. This is a 1.3 per cent increase over 2022 where those who met the prescribed performance standard was 83.87 percent.

This number includes 666 (79.19%) males, and 776 (91.08%) females.

Minister of Education Curtis King, congratulated the students, the teachers, the leadership of the school, the parents, guardians and other stakeholders for ensuring that the students have once again met their potential in terms of their performance at this level.

“It is important always to congratulate those who have made a significant contribution to the students’ overall attainment…”.

However, he said there is a perception that if a child attends a school that is located in Kingstown that they are bound to do better than the other students.

“… I know that perception is coming from the belief that somehow the schools outside of Kingstown are not at the … same level of those in Kingstown.

As a result, King said that parents and guardians feel compelled to try to get a place in a school in Kingstown for the child. He said that the government has been working over the years to ensure there are resources in the respective schools, whether they are in Kingstown or in rural areas so that students have a fair chance at performing well in the CPEA.

The Minister said that schools with different sizes of grade six classes, located inside and outside of Kingstown, recorded larger percentage of passes in the CPEA.

“…The seven largest schools would have … a grade six class of 50 or more students, so ranging from 51 at the Georgetown Government School to 116 students at the Kingstown Preparatory School … I’m making the point of the 18 schools that recorded 100% pass, two of the largest schools were in that group of the 18 schools,” he said, adding that the C.W Prescod Primary school recorded a 96.5 percent pass rate, and the Georgetown Government School recorded a passing average of 91 percent.

Minister King noted that not too long ago, when the Common Entrance Exam (CEE) was the Primary exit exam, roughly only four out of every 10 students were able to make it on to secondary school.

“Now the CPEA guarantees every student a place in the secondary school. However, we must assess the students so that we can determine where each student is, if he or she is going to benefit maximumly from what is done at the secondary school.”

King said that the CPEA has reduced the pressure on the students, because students know that they will be securing a place at a secondary school.

“Secondly, the CPEA exams are done over a period of two days. It’s not like in the old [days] where you turn up on the first day and you do all the exams on that day and if you are not feeling well, whatever reason did not get a good deal. It impacted on your performance.”

He noted that the CPEA has a different format which comprises two components, a school-based component where the student can secure a maximum of 40 percent of the final mark, and then four examinations that are spread across two days, where the student can attain a maximum percentage mark of 60, of their final mark.

“So that in itself has taken some of the pressures off the students and I must say parents and guardians, and when you add that to the fact that students writing the exams know that they will be guaranteed a place in the secondary school, I think, all combined helped to make sure that our students relax and perform at the examination.”

King said that since CPEA has been introduced to the grade six students, there have been records of very good performances over the past years for which he is very happy.

“I must say though, that there is still room for improvement, and as such, we have to double down, keep enhancing our methods of teaching, keep providing the necessary support that would allow students to be in such an environment where they can perform at their best.”

King said that they are not giving up on the pursuit of excellence where the students are concerned.

“We will continue to offer all the necessary support to make sure that our students realize their full potential.”