Chief Education Officer (CEO), Marcel Hutson said he has never been a fan of the concept of the “top ten” or “top 100” students, noting that the performance of every child must be celebrated.
“At the end of the day, if everyone cannot come to a certain level, then there is no real rejoicing,” he expressed at a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Education to announce the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) results.
Hutson explained that the overall performance across the regions have improved significantly and declared that such achievements must be acknowledged.
According to statistics in the area of mathematics, significantly more students have attained a pass grade of 50% or more. For Region One, 6 students gained 50% and more in 2016 against 172 in 2017; for Region Two, 93 in 2016 against 358 in 2017; for Region Three, 317 in 2016 and 937 in 2017; for Region Four, 489 in 2016 and 1417 in 2017; and in Region Five, 85 in 2016 compared to 349 in 2017.
Hutson noted that this improvement was also achieved in the far-flung hinterland areas of Region Eight and Nine with an increase from 1 to 62 and 13 to 156 respectively.
Education Minister (Ag) Nicolette Henry noted that the long-term aim of the ministry is to ensure more students attain a 50% pass grade in all subjects.
“I am always concerned about the issues of disparities and the issues about those who have nothing to celebrate when results are announced … so while you may not be able to get into the top five schools, you must be able to get into a school that will allow you to realize your full potential,” the Education Minister stated.
Henry had disclosed that the most improved subject was Mathematics which recorded an increase of over 30% in the number of candidates gaining 50% and more as compared to last year.
Ministry officials attributed this success to the implementation of the Emergency Mathematical Intervention Plan.
The CEO had noted that the Ministry of Education has taken a series of steps responsible for the major turnaround in Mathematics including the training of teachers and school administrators to implement and supervised the teaching of mathematics in classrooms.
He also highlighted the focus placed on parental involvement in the process, noting that all stakeholders must be onboard to guarantee success.
The highest possible standardized scores obtainable were mathematics – 132, English – 132, Social Studies – 133 and Science – 132, making the highest possible total score obtainable 529.
The top student, Saskia Twahir of the School of the Nations, gained 524.
The second position was shared by five candidates namely: Clifton Bacchus of Mae’s Under 12, Gabriella Roberts of Success Elementary, Xiana Chabila of Graham’s Hall Primary, Amelia Sugrim and Antonia Dey of Academy of Excellence with 522 marks each.