— NGSA recorded improvements in all subject areas
WITH just five marks less for a perfect score, School of the Nations Student, Saskia Twahir, secured the top performer spot in the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) with a total of 524 marks.
Twahir’s performance placed her above some 13, 328 pupils who sat the examinations on April 12 and 13 this year.
Education Minister, Nicolette Henry, made the announcement at a press conference in the boardroom of the Ministry of Education Friday afternoon.
Sharing second place with 523 marks each were Clifton Bacchus of Mae’s Under 12; Garbiella Roberts of Success Elementary; Xiana Chabila of Graham’s Hall Primary; and Amelia Sugrim and Antonia Dey, both of Academy of Excellence.
Brandon Gouveia, Emily Lalchand and Tristan Persaud of Academy of Excellence; Raj Seeram of Swami Purananda Primary; Jerod Roberts of Marian Academy; Tristan Richards of Dharmic Rama Krishna; Muhammad Bacchus of ISA Islamic; Tia Chung of Success Elementary; and Kripa Thani of Mae’s Under 12 tied in seventh position with 522 marks each.
Minister Henry highlighted that the exams saw improvements in every subject area, with Mathematics recording the highest improvement.
She expressed joy at the performance of the students and hailed the dedication of teachers, parents and the Ministry of Education.
“Improvements were recorded in all the subject areas for 2017 as compared to 2016. The most improved subject was Mathematics, which recorded and increase of over 30 per cent in the number of candidates gaining 50 per cent and more.
The Ministry of Education noted the poor performance in this subject area and implemented the Emergency Mathematical Intervention Plan (EMIP),” she stated.
In the execution of the EMIP, teachers were trained in content and methodology, regular cluster meetings facilitated in each administrative region, math coordinators and monitors recruited, officers and school administrators trained to supervise the teaching of maths, and a diagnostic assessment of pupils in the hinterland regions done.
The minister said parental involvement in education, public relations were enhanced and additional support material for students acquired.
Some 163 students from various schools gained places at Queens College, while a total of 291 pupils from Regions One, Two, Five, Six, Seven, Nine and 10 have secured places at President’s College.
Overall, she said, pupils performance in the NGSA exams over the past three years improved, with increases in the number of passes in all four subjects offered.
Each of the subjects offered – Mathematics, English Language, Science and Social Studies – carried scores of 132, except Social Studies which carried a score of 133.
The 163 pupils who make up the top one per cent saw a gender imbalance with 68 males as against 163 females securing places at Queens College.
This was also the first time in many years that the NGSA examinations saw over 50 percent passes in a subject area, with English Language recording a 54.1 per cent pass rate.
The English Language recorded a 41.62 per cent pass rate in 2016 and 45.88 per cent pass rate in 2015.
Science recorded a 46.3 per cent pass rate in 2017, a 27.55 per cent pass rate in 2016 and a 44.12 per cent pass rate in 2015, while Social Studies recorded a 46.5 per cent pass in 2015, 46.1 per cent in 2016 and 47.6 per cent in 2017.
“This is the first time in many years that we were able to get over 50 per cent passes in a subject area and that is absolutely phenomenal,” Minister Henry said.
President David Granger last year said government was disappointed with the low pass rate, especially in mathematics. Inspired by the President’s comments, the Ministry of Education in 2016 launched an aggressive innovative campaign to improve students’ performance countrywide.
The Ministry in 2016 collaborated with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to improve the quality of primary school grade assessment examinations, including the NGSA.
Education professionals came together at the Caribbean Examinations Council and addressed key areas, while candidates were also given several mock examinations.
“The Ministry of Education has continued its collaboration with the Caribbean Examinations Council 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,” Minister Henry said.
The candidates were tested in 400 multiple choice questions in the four subject areas along with essay and open-ended questions.