With the move by the Caribbean Examinations Council [CXC] to make School Based Assessments [SBA] a requisite for additional subjects this year for all subject areas, it is believed that the performance of candidates across the region has improved. At least this is according to information shared by CXC, which administers the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate [CSEC] examination.
This likely outcome has been underscored by Chief Education Officer [CEO] of the Education Ministry, Mr. Marcel Hutson. According to Hutson, “coming out of the Final Award Committee meeting at CXC, the Registrar noted the SBAs for many territories would have caused some kind of improvement.”
However, Hutson, while making this comment last Friday, was not in a position to release actual scores. This was in light of his disclosure that “in terms of the details, we are still to get the disaggregation in terms of the scores from the Caribbean Examinations Council.”
This year for the first time CXC candidates were required to submit SBAs for the subject areas of Mathematics and English.
But the improvement in Guyana, according to Hutson, might have been linked to additional development. According to the CEO, “I want you to know that [there were] a number of things that would have been done in Guyana outside of the SBAs that would have caused the movement, you would have seen, particularly in Mathematics…”
He credited the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project [GSEIP] with helping Guyana to realise improved results. The project, according to CEO Hutson, “is so designed to improve the performance of Mathematics in the school system and our students and the teachers would have been benefiting from that project.”
According to Hutson, “We also have a situation where our teachers and officers worked very hard in relation to getting those SBAs completed, and that too may have impacted the performance.”
Since assuming office in 2015, the APNU+AFC government has called for measures to improve the performances of students, particularly in the areas of mathematics at the National Grade Six. Assessment level. In this regard, a number of measures were implemented to improve the quality of teachers, the curriculum and by extension the performance of students.
As part of the intervention to improve performances in Mathematics, Hutson had earlier shared the importance of training of teachers in content and methodology; establishment of cluster meetings in regions where it was feasible; purchasing of textbooks and materials to pupils to have hands-on experience and amplifying the notion of public awareness through music, drama, the use of the internet, radio and newspapers to encourage parents to be involved.
However, through the GESIP initiative, the Ministry was positioned to implement phased revision of schools curricula as a key tactic to realize improved performances of students within the public education system.
The project, which has been receiving funding from the World Bank to the tune of US$6 million, is designed to target students at the nursery, primary and lower secondary levels.
Through the project, which commenced in 2017 with an expiration date of 2023, it is expected that students’ learning will be improved in each subject area and by extension at each grade level.
The project is being done in components including: teacher training; development of a curriculum framework and teaching guides; strengthening of national assessment capacity and the crafting of suitable teaching and learning materials. Based on the project specifications, these measures are being achieved by the implementation of measures to improve how content is taught with an emphasis on interactive, student-centered pedagogies, social inclusion and gender informed approaches.
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