Saint Lucia Hails Successor To ‘One Shot’ Common Entrance Exam

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A senior education official here has been highlighting the advantages of the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA), over what he describes as the ‘one shot’ Common Entrance Examination.

Grade Six students will sit the Common Entrance Examination for the last time in 2021, when it will be replaced by the CPEA, the Ministry of Education here says.

Dawson Ragunanan is Saint Lucia’s Deputy Chief Education Officer with responsibility for instruction.

“When it comes to education, we need to make sure that we follow the best practices and also based on what research is showing when it comes to assessment,” he said in an interview with Claudia Monlouis of the Communications Unit of the Ministry of Education.

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“We have recognised that there are some shortfalls when it comes to the Common Entrance Exam,” Ragunanan explained.

He said it is a ‘one shot examination’, whereas education officials really want to look at assessment.

According to the senior education official, assessment is about collecting data about students to make decisions which would help to propel those students forward.

He explained that the CPEA allows the teacher a level of autonomy.

“What it does, it actually allows the teacher to be able to test students within the classroom environment,” Ragunanan stated.

He said the CPEA has  two basic components – an internal and external one.

“The internal component is about the activities that are going on in the classroom, so the teacher is able to actually assess that child through a number of modalities.”

They include projects, book reviews, and tests.

The marks gained will contribute to the child’s final CPEA score.

Ragunanan said the external component is actually a test developed by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

“This component is going to be done in a manner where you have multiple choice items that the child would have to do, but the other components would be internal and so I think it gives a more holistic picture in terms of the abilities of that child,” he asserted.

Ragunanan noted by way of example, that a child could sit the Common Entrance Examination while ill on the day of the test and achieve a particular score that may not be reflective of their ability.

He observed that many countries have moved to the CPEA as a standardised test throughout the region, so that if a child who sits the examination moves to another Island there will be no need to do another examination.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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