Less than two weeks before Grade Six students across the country undergo their exit assessments, controversy has begun to brew over a new layout put forward by the Ministry of Education for the National Grade Six Assessment, popularly referred to as Common Entrance.
Former Education Minister Priya Manickchand has raised issues with the new layout which now requires students to write their names on their examination papers.
Manickchand said this new arrangement, which the Ministry has confirmed, can only be seen as a thoughtless move on the one hand, or one that is sinister on the other hand. She believes it could shake the integrity of the examination system which the country has spent many years building.
Approximately 14,500 candidates are expected to sit NGSA on Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday April 28, 2016. “This has caused great distress among parents and students,” The former Education Minister said while dubbing the changes as secretive.
She said after writing the Minister of Education and his Chief Education Officer, she was notified that the paper one will be marked electronically outside of Guyana but she remains concerned that the paper two which will be marked locally will open the system to unfairness and discrimination.
Throughout the history of writing these examinations, students have been using candidate numbers and according to Manickchand she cannot fathom what will be the value of a name.
“…a name will cause more trouble. Parents have expressed great terror that the request for names on the paper can lead to discrimination and are asking the Ministry to withdraw this senseless requirement,” she added.
Manickchand insisted that there was too much room for subjectivity when a name appears on a paper and believes it was unnecessary.