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While there was a slight drop in the performance in Mathematics at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), the Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson, said it is important to note the significant improvement in all the other subject areas.
At a news conference on Monday to the announce the results at the National Center of Educational Resources Development (NCERD), Hutson said that of the 14,032 candidates who wrote the NGSA exams, the overall subject analysis shows in 2020, a significant improvement was recorded in Social Studies, with 53% of the candidates securing 50% and more, as against 39% in 2019. All education districts recorded improvements in this area. 61.2% of the candidates secured 50% and more in English, as against 51.7% in 2019, and again, all districts recorded improvements in this subject area.
The CEO said that the Ministry of Education has continued its collaboration with the Caribbean Examination Council to improve the quality of the assessments. He further outlined that the areas tested for each subject was skilfully outlined. For Mathematics the highest achievable marks was 136, testing the areas of knowledge, algorithmic thinking, and reasoning. In science, it was 135, with knowledge, comprehension, and application. Social Studies, 128 with knowledge, conceptual understanding, and use of knowledge. For English, 129, and reading, comprehension, vocabulary, structure and mechanics, content vocabulary, language and organisation. The highest possible score obtainable was 528.
The top one percent of the country scored between 525 and 511. Two pupils tied in the top in the top spot with 525, while 32 pupils secured the bottom half of the one percent, with 511 marks. Hutson said this year’s success is a testimony to the work the parents have been doing, and to the collaborative union the parents, teachers and the ministry have formed over the years.
“We have recognised that a number of things were put in place to get the performance we have seen. One of the things that have impacted our performance greatly has to do with the monitors we hired and placed in the school system. I think as we put our heads together and work collaboratively as a team, I think we could do the extra ordinary, and I think we’re in a good place now, as we move forward, and I think what is important is the support from every stakeholder, moving the process forward,” he told the gathering at the press conference.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickhand, before calling out the top one percent, encouraged all students to strive to excel at whichever school they are placed. She said that only 120 pupils can be placed at each of the top schools, and with 14,032 pupils writing the exams, all could not have been placed at a top school, but she hit home the point that any secondary school can produce top students if they work hard to achieve same.