By Vishani Ragobeer
As the first mock examination ahead of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), slated to be written in August, got underway, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, on Wednesday related that more than 90 per cent of the students came out to their schools to sit the examinations.
On Wednesday morning, the first day of the examination, Manickchand visited a few primary schools where she interacted with parents, teachers and pupils. This mock examination, according to a recent statement from the Ministry of Education, is a preparatory examination that will help teachers to understand in what subject areas or topics pupils are weak in, before they sit the NGSA on August 4 and 5.
“We have a large percentage- over 90 per cent- that chose to come into schools to write the exams, the other persons chose to write the exams at home,” Minister Manaickchand told the News Room on Wednesday.
Writing this mock examination at home was permitted by the education ministry once parents are able to adequately supervise the children. As part of efforts to help children learn the content in their syllabi, the Education Ministry had sent textbooks and study notes to children countrywide. Ahead of this mock examination, the pupils were also given care packages including stationery and sanitisation supplies.
In addition to the pupils who were able to return to their primary schools to sit the examinations, or even stay at home, there are some pupils across Guyana whose houses, schools and communities might have been flooded. In some communities, there has been an outbreak of COVID-19.
As such, those pupils would be unable to write the mock examinations on Wednesday and Thursday. Minister said that these pupils will be allowed to rewrite the examination shortly.
“I think it is perhaps the most difficult time for education in the history of our country and we have to be flexible in how we apply rules and remember about the purpose of the rules,” she posited.
Additionally, she indicated that a second mock examination should be administered in July. Generally, she explained that these mock examinations will allow the pupils to adjust to the examination-style setting prior to the NGSA.
In August, when the pupils will be required to return to their schools to write the NGSA, Minister Manaickchand related that even then, the pupils will not be required to sit the examinations in their school uniform since it has been more than one year since they were last in school.