Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Education Minister Supports Review Of Primary Schools Exams

Education Minister, Doctor Gale Rigobert, believes that there should be a review of examinations that students sit during their time at primary school.

“We need to review the entire suite of exams that these children are exposed  to during their primary school life,” Rigobert told reporters Tuesday,

She asserted that the system is too ‘exam centric.’

“One day we will get to that review and come up with a conclusion,” she said.

According to the minister, more needs to be done to allow for continuous assessment.

She acknowledged that there has been a move in that direction especially at the CXC level where there are School Based Assessments (SBAs).

“The expectation is that you will be able to  assess students’ performance over a period of time,  versus a 100 percent weighted exam. So we are seeing fewer and fewer 100 percent weighted exams. We would like to see more of that at the lower primary school level,” Rigobert explained.

She recalled  that when she assumed office  she advocated a review of the various exams.

“We have the Minimum Standard Exam at Grade Four and Grade Two and on top of that we have the Grade Six Common Entrance Exam,” Rigobert stated.

She declared that it is not enough simply to have a Minimum Standard Test (MST) to ascertain the competency level of the student at that particular age.

“More importantly is the analysis that goes into the results,” the minister said.

“I know the architects of the MST really meant for it to be a  truly diagnostic test and to help to ascertain where there are gaps in the children’s learning to allow for those gaps to be bridged well before they do Common Entrance.”

Rigobert said she did not want to single out Common Entrance as the one exam to be reviewed, but explained that the review should encompass all primary school exams.




  1. The exams are diagnostic in nature. The issue is nothing much is done with the results of these exams. The Ministry itself has promoted and is supporting the heavy reliance on testing. Look at all the fuss made when releasing the results of the CEE where the emphasis is on highlighting the top schools but not recognizing schools that have showed improvement.
    The Minister has been talking about that since she assumed office and 3 years later she is talking, there lies the problem – just talk.

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