Last month, Education Minister, Priya Manickchand expressed grave concern over the absence of students who were expected to sit the first mock National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) on June 9. She told the press that those students could not be located.

She promised the rollout of a ‘rigorous’ campaign to locate these students, while stressing that the Ministry will not sit by and watch students become dropouts.

NGSA students were given two options to write the exams. The Ministry reported that 90% of the students opted to sit the exam at schools, with the remainder writing from home.

Manickchand, in June, said that these ‘unaccounted’ students took neither option. She noted that teachers were also unaware of their location or reasons for not participating.

The minister told the nation today that some 2,600 children did not take the first mock exam.

“During the first mock National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) about six weeks ago, 2,600 children were missing – by missing I mean they could have written the exam at home [but] they’re not in the system where they can be found. We are individual-by-individual tracking them down to bring them back into the school system,” she said.

She added that the longer children stay away from schools, the greater the chance of them suffering learning loss and becoming dropouts.


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