Education Ministry considering new ways of assessing Grade Six pupils

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Guyana consolidated its curriculum in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and now, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said new ways of assessing Grade Six pupils are being explored.

Manickchand told reporters that the COVID-19 pandemic brought its unique set of challenges but it allowed the Education Ministry to review the curriculum that was being used.

And that review allowed the ministry to start the process of determining whether what was being taught was responsive enough to the needs of Guyanese pupils.

“Do we want to continue doing all four (subjects) and if we do, do we wanna continue a seated exam or do we want to do projects and more competency-based measurements for those two subjects, science and social studies?” Manickchand quizzed on Thursday morning during a visit.

She added, “We need to ensure that every child in Grade Four is reading and comprehending so that means we need to spend more time on literacy and mathematics than making the academic day so crowded with other things that children are not getting some basic instruction early on.”

However, any possible changes are mere considerations now.

The Education Minister said there are many other factors to consider, including how any possible curriculum or assessment changes can be made without influencing how competitive Guyanese pupils are.

The National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA)- which is Guyana’s secondary school entrance examination- is being written on Thursday and Friday. This assessment usually tests four areas: Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science.

Because of the challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, a consolidated curriculum has been used for teaching and assessments.

Grade Six pupils will this year get tested on the consolidated curriculum for Grades Three, Four and Five.

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