Changes to the current NGSA placement system being explored – Manickchand

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The National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) is Guyana’s secondary school placement examination but Education Minister Priya Manickchand said that reforming this high-stakes assessment is being explored.

Manickchand, while addressing an event at St. Winifride’s Secondary School on Monday, said that the NGSA could still be used as an examination to identify “gifted” children and place them in national and regional schools.

Beyond that, potential changes could see children being placed in schools nearest to them. These changes could be in place by 2027.

Later, while engaging reporters at the sidelines of the event, the Education Minister emphasised that the Grade Six Assessment is not being eliminated.

“The exit examinations measure a whole set of other things in addition to placement… We are reforming the way we use the results for placement,” she clarified.

Before any of these changes can be instituted, improvements in the local education sector are expected.

“We cannot [change the NGSA placement system] without access to secondary education that is universal in the country,” Manickchand said.

Universal secondary education means that all children have access to secondary schooling and do so while equipped with the necessary resources for their learning. In Guyana, Manickchand said the government is in an aggressive push to build and expand more secondary schools and dorms across the country to accommodate students.

Last year, Manickchand highlighted that it was the government’s goal to make all secondary schools equal; that is, each school would possess trained teachers and all requisite resources needed to boost children’s learning.

This goal is still being pursued, Manickchand said on Monday. Now, however, efforts are also underway to construct and expand more schools.

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