NGSA graduates may start secondary school in January 

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Over 13, 000 pupils who wrote the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) this year may not start their secondary education until January 2022.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand Friday said that what is usually the Christmas term may have to be removed for these pupils since the academic year 2021/2022 will not be dragged out.

“Different schools are going to put different things in school; I suspect online, I suspect maybe worksheets, it may be that we don’t start grade seven until January; we may have to cut a term out of grade seven for this year and we start it in January,” Manickchand said as a ceremony to announce this year’s NGSA results.

The minister said the public will be notified when these pupils can start school.

Manickchand explained that a consolidated curriculum was established for these specific pupils. The curriculum has been split from 40 weeks to 20 weeks. During the reduced schedule, the pupils will have to cover topics they would have missed in Grade Six.

Meanwhile, Manickchand said she is satisfied with this year’s performance at the exams given the difficult circumstances some students had to face and also given the fact that the majority of the pupils did not engage in face-to-face learning.

“I thought we would have done a lot worse; I was very nervous about it – to deliver education differently from the way the country has done it since we came into existence,” Manickchand stated.

Manickchand is also questioning the necessity for extra classes and lessons for Grade Six pupils given the results attained this year without extra lessons.

Analysis for math after lowest past rate recorded 

While Social Studies and English recorded the highest pass rates in recent years, Mathematics and Science recorded the lowest pass rates.

English recorded the highest pass rate with 65.71 per cent of the pupils passing; some 56.3 per cent of students passed Social Studies. These subjects have recorded the highest pass rates over the past five years

The pass rates for Mathematics and Science decreased. Science had a 40.12 per cent pass rate while for Mathematics there was a 36.5 per cent pass rate.

“We have to do a deeper analysis but what I am being told by teachers…as a matter of conversations that we have been having with teachers, they found it very difficult to teach Maths when they are not in a classroom setting,” Manickchand revealed.

She said the ministry will have to find other ways to engage pupils with Mathematics as the pandemic continues to spread in the country.

Additionally, the ministry will also be examining pathways for children who received a score of zero on their exams. Once the ministry receives the results from CXC, the ministry will be able to see from which schools pupils would have received a score of zero. An assessment will then be done to find out if it was a problem with either teachers or parents.

“You have to find individualised pathways for that child or else you are failing them before you even begin.”

“You can’t put a child who cannot write and put them into secondary schools and expect them to function,” Manickchand said.

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