No request to delay CSEC exams

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Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly. –

EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said she has received no formal request to delay the upcoming CSEC exams, replying to a supplemental question from Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes in the House of Representatives on Friday. Haynes had initially asked in her main question about any adjustment to the curriculum to ensure a complete delivery within the school year.

Gadsby-Dolly had replied by stating the difference between a syllabus and a curriculum.

She said a subject syllabus was based on pupils acquiring relevant “key competencies, concepts and core knowledge”, while a curriculum guides teachers on the “expected student learning outcomes” for a given age/level of pupil.

“As such, educators focus on the skills, concept and competency development applicable to the age and class of the child rather than simply the percentage of the syllabus that was completed.”

She said schools heads of department, supported the Curriculum Division, review various curricula and identify key skills, concepts and content to be covered to give pupils sufficient capability to move to the next level.

“Therefore, the question is not whether or not the students and teachers can complete a particular curriculum, but whether the key learning outcomes have been achieved.

“In fact, the approach to curriculum delivery that focuses on the student competency, concept and skill acquisition, is a more excellent approach to teaching and learning than simply concentrating on the percentage coverage of the syllabus.

“As such, Madam Speaker, while no adjustment to the curricula is found to be necessary at this time, teachers have been provided with the necessary support to ensure that the key learning outcomes at each level has been achieved.”

Haynes asked if the ministry has taken on parents’ concerns about an inability to complete the curriculum ahead of CSEC exams this year.

Gadsby-Dolly replied, “The concerns that come forward are not unusual for any particular year.

“I have within the Ministry of Education no formal concern coming forward from any of the associations or any school that is lodged at the ministry at this time.”

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