The results of the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) exam have finally been released and this year’s top performers are all boys. The results were released Thursday at St Mary’s College.
Although the results were announced later than expected, prompting many to vent their frustration on social media, Education Minister Shawn Edward said the delay was necessary.
Two thousand fifty-five students were registered for the CPEA exams which took place for the first time in Saint Lucia on 12 and 13 May. The CPEA, which is administered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), has notably moved away from the traditional one-test approach and is now two-pronged, comprising both an internal and an external component.
“Although we are behind the rest of the region, this delay was necessary to allow for the required verification and the correction of the anomalies identified. The introduction of the CPEA ushered in a new testing paradigm. This is a deliberate move away from simple test subjects to specifically assess the important skills needed to enroll in secondary education,” Edward said.
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“Introducing both an internal and external component to this assessment requires collaboration between teachers, parents, students and the Caribbean Examinations Council. In addition, the focus continues to be on our special education students. This assessment has the potential to measure their skills and abilities to promote a culture of inclusion,” Edward said, adding that students are expected to progress from primary to secondary more motivated and confident. as they strive to self-regulate. learners. »
While many were skeptical of the introduction of the EAPC, Edward noted that it was a step in the right direction. According to the Minister, the results proved that the performance of the pupils was in line with that of pupils across the region and in no way deviated significantly from the results expected locally.
“Of course there are processes that need to be strengthened and communication between stakeholders needs to be improved in the future, however, I strongly believe that adopting the EAPC was the best assessment approach for our students. sixth grade,” Edward said.
Scores on this year’s CPEA exam ranged from 97.2 to 22.5, with the top ten students coming from seven different schools. Xavi Fontenelle recorded the most impressive performance domestically with a score of 97.2. Fontenelle, who attended Dame Pearlette Louisy Elementary School, was assigned to St. Mary’s College.
Jonathan Yang (Augier Combined School), Matthew Hassani George (Camille Henry Memorial), Jashon Haydn Taylor (Augier Combined School), Ethan Thijs Bernard (Augier Combined School) also racked up impressive scores, followed by 96.8%, 96, 95.6% and 95.6% respectively.
“As a country, we recorded an average (of) 70.56%. I am particularly encouraged by the performance of our boys. The top five students in this year’s exam were all boys. The exam, more than anything else, is supposed to tell us where we are at with our students. It’s supposed to give us a better sense of how we shape our teaching, what different modalities we adopt, and that’s what’s essential for us at the Department of Education,” Edward said.
However, he clarified that “CPEA and other forms of assessment in the primary school system (are) not meant to be a competition. We will not pit one school against another, but what we will do is give due recognition to students who have achieved exceptional results.
The Minister also commended the teachers who, despite their challenges (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the CPEA), remained steadfast. According to him, they brought out “the best” in the students.
“You will understand better than anyone in this country how difficult an academic year was before the EAPC. I have never doubted the ability, perseverance and commitment of our teachers and that is why at the highest levels of education policy-making we insist that we go from before and today, we feel a sense of vindication after critically examining the results,” Edward said.
He noted that the CPEA exam offers teachers the opportunity to become more creative and innovative in their teaching.
“When this happens, our students have a better chance of succeeding. At the Ministry of Education, the intention is to promote greater action research focused on each learner, ensuring that their unique needs and abilities are taken into account in order to maximize their academic and social learning. I am extremely proud of our students and their performance in our first CPEA session,” said Edward.
Moreover, he explained, “Today is a great day for the education system because we have been able to continuously monitor the skills of our students. Through continuous formative assessment, schools have been able to reduce learning gaps and ensure mastery of relevant literacies and skills.
He also urged parents to support their children and said it was ‘too early’ for parents to take children to task because of the schools they have been assigned to.
“I want to tell the parents, please don’t put unnecessary pressure on the children. They are just moving from primary to secondary. We have quality teachers in all of our secondary schools. I said yesterday to a group of graduating students (that) no matter what high school you go to. Once you apply yourself and come with the required determination and commitment, you can achieve whatever needs to be achieved in the our country’s high school system,” Edward said.