A total of 14,300 pupils from primary schools across the country participated in the assessment but it was only those who made up the top one per cent who were identified.

The announcement was made by Minister of Education, Dr Nicolette Henry, who was eager to announce that there were improvements in the subject areas of Mathematics and English when compared to 2018.

However, while the names of the 160 plus candidates who made up the top one per cent were readily made available by the Ministry, officials present at the forum were ill-prepared to shed light on those who failed to meet the benchmark for the assessment this year.

In 2018, a total of 2,404 of the 14,000 plus candidates who participated in the assessment failed to meet the benchmark for them to be placed at secondary level schools.

When asked to comment on candidates who failed to matriculate this year, Senior Education Officer Carol Benn, who is tasked with coordinating a programme to cater to poor NGSA performers, said that the information was not available to share at the forum but could be provided at a later time.

Benn is responsible for a six-year transitional programme which is designed to remedy the poor performances of these candidates. She disclosed yesterday that the programme is offered to schools throughout the 11 education districts.

Benn was also asked to give an update of the programme. Without sharing any specific details about the programme, Benn said, “we are going to review that programme and you will be informed.”

Each year when the results are presented, focus is often directed to the top performers, with little attention being given to the number of candidates who fail to matriculate. Based on information from ministry officials, there is still a need for the results to be properly analysed before the level of performance can be determined.

The NGSA is an examination that is conducted annually by the Ministry of Education which helps to determine which secondary level schools pupils can best complete their secondary education.


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