As was the case last year, Grade 6 students will be placed in high schools based on the Grade 4 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) scores and the ability test, which is to be administered in May.
The PEP 6 ability test, which was first set for February and then March 25, has now been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 26.
The staging of PEP tests have been impacted by COVID-19, which has caused the shutdown of face-to-face learning. Grade Six students have not been able to take all the components of their PEP tests.
“We believe that at this time … our students will be best served by utilizing a similar format that was used in 2020 for the placement of our Grade 6 students into high schools,”
Minister Williams said that teachers will administer diagnostic tests to Grade 6 students to determine the extent to which they grasp the curriculum. She said that the results of the tests will be passed on to the high schools that will be charged with ensuring that gaps are made up.
“The National Standards Curriculum allows for the aspects of the curriculum that were not covered at the primary level to be covered at the secondary level at Grade 7. This would require, however, that the number of school days be increased,”
The minister said that the technical staff at the ministry of education is currently preparing a document that will determine which students would be required to repeat their current class. She noted that many of the nation’s children have not been engaged in formal education since the pandemic, with countless numbers suffering learning loss.
“We know that many of our students were barely or not at all engaged with any of the modalities. There are some of our students who have not opened their books since this year began … We realize that we are going to need a massive intervention programme. Some of our students are going to have to repeat grades so we can get back to where we were before the pandemic,”
the minister said.
In the meantime, the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) is pressing ahead with the holding of this year’s staging of CSEC and CAPE papers. These will be administered in their original formats.
Williams said that CXC, taking into consideration the “loss of learning many students would have experienced” due to COVID-19, will share the broad topics on which candidates will be assessed on Paper 2 of their exams. This guide will be issued five weeks before the star of the examinations.
The regional exams will start on June 14 and will run until July 16. Examination results will be made available to the education ministry by the last week of September.
Students who choose to postpone taking the exams this year must apply for a deferral by May 1. Minister Williams said guidelines are being prepared for students who intend to differ taking their CXC-administered examinations.