The Ministry of Education is moving ahead with its plans for the sitting of the National Grade Six Assessment examinations on the 1st and 2nd July.
Over 14,000 students are set to write the four exams over the course of the two days.
With some parents still concerned about safety measures in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Education Ministry said it cannot and will not force parents to have their children sit the examinations if they don’t want them to do so at this time.
Chief Education Officer, Ingrid Trotman, explained today that in the case of those students who do not turn up for the examinations, they will be placed in the closest secondary school to their home in the new school year and will be allowed to write a placement exam for a higher level school in July of next year. They will not be placed at Grade A schools.
“If the parents opt not to have their children or child write this examination, there is nothing we can do to force them. However, in not doing so, they will be placed in the school closest to them. If they are not satisfied or if they have issues with the school that they are placed in, there is what we call the placement examination, and that is done during the July month and so they will be placed at the secondary school closest to them… and if they satisfy the criteria, they can ask to write the placement exam the next year July and I think they have to get over 70% to be placed in order to be placed at a school of a higher level”, the Chief Education Officer said.
The Ministry of Education has gazetted the examination order for all of the national examinations.
The order lists a number systems that should be in place at all schools which will be reopened on the 15th June for those students who will be sitting the examinations.
The Education Ministry has announced that it will be providing every student with a kit which will contain sanitization products and face masks. Additionally, teachers will also be provided with a similar kit which will also include face shields. All schools are to also be equipped with sanitization areas for handwashing.
The Director for the National Centre for Education Resource Development said a lot of planning was done in consultation with the Ministry of Public Health and other stakeholders before a decision was taken to set the date for the NGSA examinations. She said for students writing the NGSA and the secondary school examinations, the Ministry’s priority was their safety.
“We want to assure you that we want our boys and girls to be safe and that’s why we were taking so long to make our decisions because we wanted our boys and girls to be safe”, Ms. Cumberbatch said.
During the revision days leading up to the examinations, the protocols will be instituted with just 15 students being allowed in one classroom and they must be six feet apart from each other at all times. Those revision sessions will only take place three days per week and classes will be held for just four hours on those three days.
The temperatures of teachers and students will be checked before entering the classrooms for revision and the exams.
From next Monday, teachers are to report to duty to begin the preparation of the classrooms for the return of the students on the following Monday.
The Education Officials made it clear that they are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure the children and teachers operate in a safe environment and will be working closely throughout the period with health officials.