Ministry of Education, Guyana

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018 09:40

Letter to the Editor: MoE has been engaging CXC in all NGSA subject areas since 2016

Dear Editor, 

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has noted a letter in the Sunday 1st July edition of Stabroek Newspaper written by a Mr Hydar Ally captioned ‘CXC should be asked to help with poor Maths results for grade six’.
Editor, the Ministry of Education strongly believes that Mr Ally has failed to check his facts reference to the collaboration between the MoE and CXC with regards to the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).

So for the benefit of Mr Ally and the populace since 2016 the MoE has been receiving technical support and guidance from the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) to ensure that the NGSA meets international standards and that item writing and assessment is of the highest possible standard. Additionally the exam is also administered by CXC.
What is strange is that Mr Ally did not hear the Minister of Education Hon Nicolette Henry on the day that the NGSA results were announced when she said the following, “For this year’s (2018) examination, the Ministry of Education has continued its collaboration with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to improve the quality of all primary grade assessments. Teachers, subject specialists and test development officers developed the test items with the technical guidance of the Caribbean Examinations Council, addressing key areas such as item construction, weighting of items, sampling and other psychometric elements.”
The MoE like the Government of Guyana (GoG) has always and will always advocate for freedom of speech. However, Mr Ally of all the people should know that as a public official it is important that facts are checked before issues are ventilated in the press that turn out to be very erroneous.
The MoE has noted this year’s maths results and it is important that we continue to work on those initiatives which saw the maths results moving from 13.85 percent in 2016 to 45.6 percent in 2017 and 38.3 percent in 2018.
Editor, the evidence of the turnaround in the education sector is in the statistics. In 2009 the overall pass rate for English Language in the hinterland was pegged at 7.51 percent; this year the hinterland region achieved an overall pass rate of 30.36 percent in the same subject area. Science moved from 4.59 percent in 2009 to 20.97 percent. The MoE is cognisant that there is much more to be done in all subject areas so that the nation’s children have the best possible opportunity to do well.
For the same period Social Studies moved from 7.75 percent to 24.20 percent in 2018. In addition to the above mentioned, the number of students from the hinterland region gaining places at senior secondary schools in Georgetown has significantly increased.
When numbers decline there is this tendency to panic and look for new strategies but this cannot be the approach. As the largest Ministry in the government we will continue to work to ensure that our children are given the best opportunity to realize their potentials.
Finally, in Mr Ally’s letter he said “The slide in students’ performance especially in mathematics and English must be arrested without delay”. The MoE is not sure where Mr. Ally obtained his information, because it is a mystery why such utterance will be made by Mr Ally. At this year’s NGSA, English Language 60.6 percent of the children that wrote that subject passed, the highest percentage ever achieved for any subject at the NGSA.

Public Relations Department
Ministry of Education

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