A look at the top 1% to overall pass rates – NGSA 2024 in graphs 

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Story & figures by Vishani Ragobeer 

vishani@newsroom.gy

Conducted yearly, the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) is Guyana’s secondary school entrance examination. Much attention is usually directed towards the top performers and the schools producing these high-achievers.

In this report, the News Room provides a visual guide to the results of this year’s assessment and takes a deeper dive into some aspects of the NGSA.

First, we start off by illustrating the regions the 15,285 pupils who wrote this year’s assessment were from.

The highest achievable score this year was 504.24 marks. The top pupil, Alisha Scheller of the Success Elementary School, scored 503.34 marks.

The highest possible score for each subject area was:

  • Mathematics: 132.77 marks
  • English: 122.63 marks
  • Social Studies: 122. 06 marks
  • Science: 126.78 marks

The names of the 197 children who make up the top 1% (essentially, the pupils who scored the highest set of marks) were provided by the Ministry of Education. The list of names can be accessed here.

All pupils in the top 1% earn a spot at Queen’s College. The cut-off scores for Guyana’s top secondary schools are as follows:

  • Queen’s College: 495.45 marks
  • The Bishops’ High School: 492.62 marks
  • St. Stanislaus College: 490.49 marks
  • St. Rose’s High School: 487.44 marks
  • St. Joseph High School: 484.5 marks
  • President’s College: 480.12 marks

In the graph below, we illustrate the regional distribution of the top 1% – that is, the regions from which the top performers hail.

No pupil from Regions Seven, Eight, or Nine made it into the top 1% and, therefore, did not secure a spot at Queen’s College. The top students from these regions, however, scored places at ‘List A’ or ‘top’ schools in the capital city, Georgetown.

Jaden Thornhill, a pupil of the Two Miles Primary School, topped Region Seven with 488.46 marks. He secured a spot at the St. Rose’s High School.

Dena Pablo of the Kopinang Primary School topped Region Eight with 484.9 marks. She earned a spot at the St. Joseph High School.

And, Liam Chase of the Arapaima Primary School in Region Nine topped that region with 487.73 marks. He will be attending the St. Rose’s High School.

Region One’s Zephon Sobers, from the Mabaruma Primary School, is the only pupil from the hinterland in the top 1%. Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine are Guyana’s hinterland regions.

The educational disparity between pupils from the hinterland and on the coast was acknowledged by Guyana’s Education Minister Priya Manickchand when questioned by the News Room at presentation of the 2024 NGSA results last week.

She said there are “perpetual” questions about the disparity but explained that hinterland regions, and the pupils there, generally face greater challenges because of their topography,  limited access to resources (both physical resources and teachers) and location.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand with some of the top performers of the 2024 National Grade Six Assessment (Photo: Ministry of Education/ Facebook/ July 4, 2024)

She, however, assured Guyanese that the Education Ministry is cognisant of the challenges and is working on solutions.

According to her, an area of priority is increasing access to education. That means buildings more schools in hinterland regions so children don’t have to travel far distances to attend classes, and outfitting those classrooms with enough furniture and resources. Currently, Manickchand said 50 new schools are under construction all across the hinterland.

Manickchand also said more trained teachers are needed. That’s why there is a push to get all teachers trained or in training by 2025. And the teaching done, she added, must be monitored and evaluated regularly.

Finally, Manickchand said parents must be supported. She believed the government is doing so through the provision of cash grants, breakfast programmes for children and getting children the textbooks they need.

These solutions may not lead to drastic improvements in the short term, however.

“In education, you don’t see results over night… it is a process,” the Education Minister said.

PERFORMANCE BY QUARTILES 

Now, for a deeper dive into the results.

Pupils’ performances are divided into four equal groups, or quartiles, based on their scores from 0% to 100%.

Quartile One includes scores from 0% to 25%; Quartile Two, from 26% to 50%; Quartile Three, from 51% to 75%; and Quartile Four, from 76% to 100%.

Those who scored the lowest are in Quartile One, while the top performers are in Quartile Four.

From the data provided, there were 2,828 candidates (1,816 boys and 1,012 girls) in the first quartile. These pupils are those who scored the lowest.

At the other extreme- Quartile Four, where the highest performers are- there were 1,720 candidates (2,089 boys and 3,809 girls).

SUBJECT AREAS

These overall scores are a sum of individual subject scores.

There were improvements in three of the four subject areas assessed; only Science saw a marginal decline in pass rates. This year’s pass rates are show in the graph below.

A comparison of the pass rates from 2017 to 2024 is shown based on information from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the Ministry of Education.

 

 

 

 

This year, the improved Mathematics scores were lauded by CXC’s Director of Operations (Examinations Services), Dr. Nicole Manning. This regional body has worked alongside Guyana’s Ministry of Education for the NGSA.

Manickchand, however, believes there is more work to be done.

“I am not happy or satisfied with where we are… it is a marginal increase and the way things go is that next year, we could see a marginal decrease,” she said.

Starting from the new academic year (which commences in September), she vowed that there will be new interventions to help improve mathematics performances locally.

Further information from the Ministry of Education- including pass rates for public vs private schools and hinterland vs coastal regions- can be accessed via this link.

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