Chief Education Officer (CEO), of the Education Ministry Olato Sam said there is “nothing sinister” in the Ministry’s move to change the format of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) to include a requirement for the students to write their names on the examination paper.
Sam disclosed that the Education Ministry is in the process of responding to the many public concerns regarding the changes.
Since publicly announcing the new requirement, the Ministry and Government have come in for censure from certain sections of the public. Opposition member and former Minister of Education Priya Manickchand had blasted Government over “not being able to explain the value of such a move.”
Speaking with the media on Friday however, Sam restated that, “there is absolutely nothing sinister or secretive” about the process, and further, the officers of the Ministry of Education are professionals that “do not get themselves involved in sinister and secretive processes.”
The CEO explained that in changing the format, the Ministry consulted the premier assessment entity in the region, (which is the Caribbean Examinations Council). He also said the Ministry adopted the new format and measures because “they are more efficient and will be more effective in preserving the integrity of our assessment in Guyana and that is our primary concern.”
“It is not my place to get involved in any of the other things, but I can assure all of the public that our assessment process is going to be conducted with the standards and the expectations that are not just local, but are regional,” Sam stated.
“We have certainly ensured that all of the expectations that are actually enshrined in the assessment processes that have international standards are now being brought to bear on the local process,” he added.
The NGSA, expected to be written by more than 14,000 students across the country in a matter of two weeks, now requires students to inscribe their names on the examination paper along with their identification/registration numbers.
Manickchand suggested that the move to change the format and layout of the exam from the way it has been done for decades, could be an attempt at victimisation. But that is just a suggestion and the former Education Minister said she hopes Government through the Education Ministry could show reason for its sudden decision to ask students to now write their names on their examination papers.
Manickchand said this new development could cause much more trouble than in any way help, and her Party is still seeking to figure out in what way the change could help. She said the Ministry has not been forthcoming with information regarding this.