AS Grade six pupils across the country prepare to write the 2022 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), many feel the usual nervousness with preparing for the exams, but many are nonetheless confident, ahead of the major assessment.
At the Patentia Primary school on the West Bank of Demerara, young 11-year-old Ezekiel Baboolall shared that he was using his final day of preparing to brush up on his knowledge in social studies, which he believed was his weakest area.
Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle on how he felt, the youngster noted that he was as prepared as he could be for the exams.
“I feel a little nervous, but I’m confident that I will pass it. I’m hoping to work a bit more on Social Studies area, and do a little more work on covering Guyana monuments and main imports and exports,” Baboolall shared.
Baboolall said that Mathematics and English were his strongest areas, so he’s hoping to do his best in those subjects.
Some 16,288 at 509 Primary Schools across the country will be writing the Mathematics, English, Science, and Social Studies examinations.
NGSA is considered a significant assessment for pupils in Guyana, as the scores will be used to determine their placement at a Secondary School in September.
Many pupils often strive and hope to place among the country’s top one per cent performers and earn a spot at a List ‘A’ secondary school.
Today, the pupils will write Paper one and two in English Language and Science, while, on Thursday, they will write Mathematics and Social Studies.
Similar sentiments to Babolall’s were shared by his classmate, 11-year-old Keineka Phillips, who was also at school on Tuesday doing her final preparations ahead of today’s exams.
“I’ve just been studying, revising on the two subjects that I have tomorrow [Wednesday], which are English Language and Science. My favourite subject is English Language so I’m really looking forward to that, and I’ve been working on my letter writing, so I am confident but a little nervous,” Phillips shared.
At the Patentia Primary School some 110 pupils were registered to write the exams, and Grade Six teacher, Ronwick Lopes, said he believed the pupils were as ready as they could be to write the determining assessment.
“I think our pupils are well prepared, because we had a full three terms to prepare for the exams this year as opposed to last year where we had five months due to the pandemic. Having had more than that five months, they are supposed to be well prepared,” Lopes shared in an interview on Wednesday with the Guyana Chronicle.
Over the past two years, the writing of the NGSA had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had caused school closures throughout the country, and resulted in teaching by virtual means. However, schools returned to normalcy this past school year.
Lopes said that allowed teachers to do more work with the students.
“We have done all that we had to get done; we completed the syllabus. We completed the consolidated curriculum; we went back through things. We’ve been working past papers and grilling them; we had them reading the concepts from the textbook because we have all the textbooks now. So the children are prepared now; they just have to do what they have to get done,” he said.
Lopes commended the Ministry of Education (MoE) initiative that saw the Ministry issuing each Grade Six pupil with all of the textbooks they needed. He noted that that played a significant role in allowing the pupils to complete even more work.
“That was a big plus for us, having the textbooks. Prior to the textbook it was all chalk and talk but with the textbook we could have given instructions and send them home with work. Them having those material was very important in a positive way, especially how it meant that each child had equal resources to study and prepare for exams,” he shared.
Lopes was spending the final day of preparations going over several of the concepts with his pupils, giving them some tips on working on their composition and essays.
“We’ve been talking to them about how to structure their sentences and how to follow instructions and write proper sentences and give complete answers for the paper two questions,” he noted.
He noted that the day was also spent advising and counselling the pupils to mentally prepare them for the exams
“We’ve also been talking to them to just remain focused and calm and to apply themselves,” he said.