Students will not be sitting the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) – formerly Common Entrance – in March/April next year, Education Minister Priya Manickchand has disclosed.
“Grade Six [Assessment] is our exam; we can set it, we can determine how we write it, whether we write it – it’s a placement exam… There are other ways that we can place students fairly into Secondary schools – we’re looking at that. We’re looking at whether we can postpone the exams – actually, I can tell you now that the exams will not be written in March/April – just before Easter – it’s not going to be written then. So, we’re definitely going and postpone it,” she said.
Whether the exam will be written later in the year, the Minister could not definitively say.
“[W]e have not made a decision yet about whether we’ll be writing, and if so, when and what form that paper will take. As soon as we make that decision, we’re going to let our students and parents know,” she told a media conference this afternoon.
She noted that the decision to postpone, comes even as parents and teachers continue to plead with the ministry to allow Grade Six students to return to the classrooms. However, the minister emphasized the need to be cautious.
“We have to be careful; we have to phase this opening; we have to look at the impact of the opening; we have to measure all those things before we can take another big step like that. In the meantime, we have printed all the notes students need for Grades Six and Five – Social Studies and Science – [and] we’ve given all the textbooks they need for Math, English, Social Studies and Science for Grades Five and Six. We have specific worksheets for that level of Children…Those worksheets are coming out now…Just to make them a little bit more prepared,” she said.
The Minister said, too, that the ministry has created a “QuizzMe” platform, where students can answer questions and be graded immediately.
Today, schools across the country reopened for students in grades 10, 11, Sixth forms and those attending Practical Instruction Centres (PIC) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions. This decision was taken at the level of cabinet and was given the ‘green light’ by the Ministry of Health.