Education ministry slams schools for mock exam fees
THE PRINCIPALS of primary schools who have imposed fees of between $1,300 and $4,000 on students preparing to sit the mock exam for the Grade Four Achievement Test have been rebuked sharply and instructed by the Ministry of Education to return the money.
In a release yesterday, the education ministry ordered schools to "cease and desist" from charging students a fee to sit the mock exams on February 23 and 24.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Elaine Foster-Allen yesterday instructed schools that have already collected funds for this exercise to reimburse the students.
The education ministry explained that the mock exams were being held in order to identify areas of weakness among students in order to apply a special intervention led by math and literacy specialists to ensure improved results in the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests scheduled for June 30 and July 1, 2015.
The education ministry is providing all the materials for the mock examination and Foster-Allen is reminding teachers that they are required to mark the papers as this is within their general job description for teaching and learning.
The ministry has urged all school board chairmen to take appropriate action against administrators found culpable of engaging in this unauthorised practice. In addition, the ministry has instructed regional education officers to exercise vigilance to ensure that schools comply with the instructions from the ministry.