Saint Lucia
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‘Big Improvements’ in CPEA Results for Boys

Education Minister Shawn Edward.
Education Minister Shawn Edward.

The Ministry of Education is in possession of the results from this year’s Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) but will not release them now, opting instead for a later date this month.

According to Education Minister Shawn Edward, this time around boys have shown significant improvements in their overall grades being dominant in the top 25 spots.

Lately, the CPEA replaced the long-standing and overdue Common Entrance Examination, which previously assessed the literacy requirements for pupils exiting the primary school system to move on to the secondary level.

Primary school students from Grades V and VI are assessed after taking the exams that consist of internal and external components. The internal component includes peer assessments, teacher-made tests, practice skills, book reports, and projects.

The minister disclosed that, last week, the CPEA results were received from Barbados and the next procedure will involve technical unit staffers from the Ministry of Education, the Examination Unit or Assessment Unit analyzing the results to assign students to respective secondary schools.

“At a glance, I am pleased with what I have seen …the national mean has moved from 70.5 to 74.05, and this has not been shared with education officers or the principals of the respective schools,” said Edward, at a media brief , Monday.

Minister Edward was beaming with pride as he announced that the island has achieved record gains and made substantial progress with the overall student grades, with the younger male students especially making commendable improvements.

The minster noted that though a thorough assessment has not yet been done, however, he is pleased that substantial improvements has been accomplished compared to the previous year.

“This is a step in the right direction. It shows that progress has been made during the period under review. I know there are a number of regional jurisdictions or countries where the results have been given out, but what we need to take into consideration is that for some of these territories in the Caribbean they are not using the CPEA results to determine which secondary school students are assigned to,” he added.

“For us, this is the basis on which we decide which school students will be assigned to. So, during the course of this week, the examination unit will be engaging in the different analyses that need to be done,” he explained. “Students will be assigned to schools and we’re looking at the 22nd of June … next week, to bring all principals together so that the results can be issued.”

The minister notes that 18 out of the top 25 performers are male students.

Added Edward: “That really speaks well to the effort that is being made, as far as instructing our boys is concerned. We know we have had a number of disciplinary issues with our young men in society. And we’ve also noticed a discernible gap in performance at the CXC level between the boys and the girls.

“So when you get CPEA results and at a glance you can tell that 18 out of your top 25 performers are boys, it speaks to an issue that we have identified (and is) being addressed and I’m extremely pleased with that.”

The minister cautioned parents  not to be too harsh on their children, should they not perform to their expectations. Rather, he said, education can be viewed as a continuous process in the holistic development of students.

Edward asserted: “We will continue working with them when they transition from primary to secondary. But the important thing is to ensure that once they would have gone through the entire education system in our country, we would have been able to so sensitize and educate them, so that they can become constructive citizens in society.

“And, of course, have the potential to be able to take their rightful places in whatever society they decide to work in; whether it’s in Saint Lucia or they decide to migrate overseas in search of employment.”