Those anxious for the results of the 2016 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) which was written in April, will have to wait a few days longer before they are officially released by the Ministry of Education.
According to the Ministry, the results will be released on Tuesday July 5, 2016.
The NGSA assessment is one that helps to determine the secondary level schools at which candidates will be placed. The marking of the assessment was slated to be completed in May.
Approximately 14,500 candidates participated in the assessment this year. The subject areas in which they participated were Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies.
Although the assessment this year incorporated some changes, the Ministry had made it clear that these were related to the question paper and answer sheets and not to structure or format of the questions on the question paper.
To clarify this development, the Ministry had explained that while each of the four subjects written in the NGSA continues to have two papers (Paper 1 and Paper 2) as it relates to candidate information, the two papers require different sets of information. For paper one, the answer sheets the candidate information –candidate name and identification number – were already printed or ‘pre-slugged’.
The candidates, however, were required to write/sign their names as a mechanism to ensure that the candidate for whom the paper was prepared was actually the one who answered the questions. But, according to the Ministry, this would have had no implications for marking since the Ministry this year decided to mark all answer sheets electronically.
As it relates to paper two, the cover page of the answer sheet was bifurcated and perforated. The Test Code, Subject and Candidate Number were required on both sides. The Test Code and Subject were printed on while candidates were required to write in their Candidate Number.
In addition to this, on the right half of the paper only, candidates were required to write the name of their school, their full name, date of birth and gender. The right side of the sheets were all detached prior to the commencement of the marking of paper two and retained for administrative purposes only.
But the information required for the marking process, according to the Ministry, is the Test Code, Subject, and Candidate Number only. ”These are administrative mechanisms and will have no bearing on the marking process whatsoever,” the Ministry in a statement had insisted.
Word of the changes to the assessment did not find favour with some factions. Former Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, was among the fierce critics.
She, in a statement, had disclosed that “it has come to my attention that the Ministry of Education in Guyana intends to change the manner in which the National Grade Six Assessment, or a part thereof, is going to be written and marked.” She considered that this change will begin and occur at the 2016 exams scheduled for April 27 and 28, 2016 and condemned the Government for failing, refusing and neglecting to inform all the relevant stakeholders of the changes even up to mere weeks ahead of the assessment.
She, moreover, emphatically questioned, “What precisely are the changes? Are our young children going to learn about these changes when they enter the examination room? Can they be expected to do their best in these conditions?”
According to the former Minister too, “This type of lazy, contemptuous governance is what the nation is coming to expect of this incompetent government. In this instance, however, this is not acceptable, as it can severely, adversely affect the lives of our most valuable resource, our children.”
She had speculated too that the changes were in fact the ones that the PPP/C government had begun to put in place and had publicly spoken of. But, according to her, these changes were never meant to be a secret, hidden from the children, their teachers and parents and sprung upon them as a surprise.
The NGSA this year was written more than three weeks later than the previous years. The Ministry had extended the dates to allow teachers sufficient time to complete the Grade Six curriculum and give students additional time within which to prepare for the Assessments.
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