Wed | Dec 2, 2020

Another PEP question

Published:Thursday | July 4, 2019 | 12:16 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have been observing a number of reactions since schools and parents received the results of the first sitting of the Primary Exit Primary (PEP) exams and these have raised some questions in my mind.

Across some public primary and prep schools, the results seem to have fallen into a familiar pattern:

1. Even though it is a different cohort of students, generally high-performing schools at the primary level seem to have held their own;

2. The preferred high schools appear to be getting top-performing students who selected these high schools;

3. The third- and fourth-tiered schools, in terms of public perception and understanding of ranking, are getting second- and third-tiered performing students based on their scores and choices.

The question I would like analysed and explained is this: Were scores received by students in the PEP exams inconsistent with their performance in internal exams during the past year or two? In other words, were there shockingly good results or surprisingly bad or mediocre results when measured against the students’ general performance?

SCHOOL QUESTIONS

These are questions for the schools, not the education bureaucracy.

The sense I have from listening to family and friends as I attended a few graduation ceremonies the past two weeks, is that students who would normally be ranked first, second or third, etc, in their internal school exams, got scores in the national exam that placed them in the first, second or third bands of the subjects, consistent with their prior performance.

The other thing I found interesting was that at three different school-leaving ceremonies, the principals reported that despite initial fears and concerns, they managed to work well with the education officers from the Ministry of Education, and that teachers who attended workshops found them useful, thus enabling them to prepare the students and thereby getting good results from the PEP.

It does seem that where school leaders and teachers worked with responsible education officers and threw themselves fully into preparing for the new exam, the results were neither surprising nor shocking. This is something to think about and perhaps analyse.

Cecil Aiken

cecilatkings@gmail.com