Minister of Education Priya Manickchand has announced that several schools will begin preparing students for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) as part of efforts to improve the overall quality of secondary education offered across Guyana.
While responding to questions from the News Room at a recent forum, the Education Minister announced that at least seven secondary schools will begin preparing students for CAPE, which is a higher level examination offered by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Those schools include the Anna Regina Multilateral school in Region Two, the West Demerara Secondary school in Region Three and the JC Chandisingh Secondary school in Region Six.
Later, on Wednesday, the News Room engaged the minister on the requirements for the offering CAPE at these schools.
“Because we’re offering CSEC at many of these schools whose teachers already teach subjects that CAPE (carries), we can offer CAPE at these schools.
“The teachers are qualified and have the relevant knowledge,” Manickchand explained.
Manickchand also highlighted that the ministry will be offering CAPE studies at the Annandale Secondary school on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) and the Tagore Memorial Secondary school in Region Six, in addition to others that have not yet been identified.
In expanding to these secondary schools, Manickchand also explained that adequate spacing has to be found at the schools. That is, additional classrooms and other facilities to accommodate the extra set of students that will be at the schools.
The expansion of schools that can offer CAPE is being pursued as the ministry attempts to provide a more equitable access to secondary education across Guyana. When asked to elaborate on these attempts last week, Manickchand stated that the ministry also intends to eliminate ‘primary tops’ which is an arrangement where primary schools teach children up to about Form Three instead of the children going off to a secondary school.
“Children who go to primary tops have nowhere to go after Grade Nine (Form Three).
“There is a vigorous effort to change that,” Manickchand said.
She also noted that the ministry is improving the physical appearance of schools and strengthening monitoring efforts.