On Thursday, Education Minister Shawn Edward warned against undue pressure on over two thousand students who began taking the second Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) examinations.
Edward visited several examination centres.
“There are parents who have been very firm and there are parents who have placed a lot of pressure on kids, simply because they have certain expectations in terms of the schools they would want the children to attend,” the Minister observed.
But he explained that all the secondary schools here have competent teachers.
“As much as possible we try to have personnel in the secondary schools who would impart the curriculum and give the children an experience that will serve them well long after they would have left school,” Edward said.
“Sometimes I think too much is made out of those exams,” the Minister asserted.
Edward acknowledged that the exams are important ‘stop-gap’ measures to determine the extent to which children learn or grasp the concepts that educators teach.
But he emphasised the need to focus a little more on teaching children to transition from one stage of life to another rather than have a preoccupation with an exam and marks where children are compared to each other.
“We are trying to move away from this competition element of the exam,” Edward stated.
“When the results come out this time around, we will be in a position where the modality that we employ in terms of how we share the results with schools and the wider public will be one where we will not be pitting schools one against the other,” he stated.
Instead, Edward said officials would give a comprehensive overview of how students performed and analyse the different items, which should inform instruction in the areas that need greater attention at the primary level.
“I am hoping that even the results of the CPEA itself would be able to inform instruction at the Form One level in the secondary schools,” Edward disclosed.
He explained that universal secondary education practically guarantees every child in Grade Six, a place at secondary school.
The CPEA replaced the Common Entrance Examination with two main internal and external components.
The internal deals with work in the classroom during the normal school year.
Officials expect primary schools to present their scores and samples for the Internal Component by Thursday, May 19, 2023.
On the other hand, twenty-two Saint Lucia secondary schools are hosting the May 4 and 5 CPEA External Component for Grade Six students.
Two thousand and fifteen candidates from sixty-nine primary schools registered to write these examinations, which include Mathematics, Social Studies, Language, and Science.
Headline photo: Stock image.