Despite the issues and challenges posed by COVID-19, the stage is set for students in Dominica to sit the Grade Six National Assessment examinations.
At a press conference held by the Ministry of Education today, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chandler Hyacinth, announced that the date for the exams in Dominica is July 7, 2020.
“Today, I wish to announce that the day for the 2020 Grade Six National examination is Tuesday, July 7, 2020,” Hyacinth stated.
According to her, the advent of COVID-19 has caused the Ministry of Education to do things differently than in other years.
“One of the things that COVID-19 has forced us to rethink in the ministry of Education is how we do assessments…what assessment practices we use. I am of the view that much more has to be done to track a child’s progress throughout the system. We must engage in more and increased monitoring especially to look at how some of our schools function,” she said.
“How teachers teach; what they teach; how they assess and so, sometimes, we have questioned why it is that so much remedial has to be done at secondary schools? What is going on at our primary schools…more use of technology even if it is challenging.”
Meantime, Head of the Curriculum and Measurement Unit in the Ministry of Education, Robert Guiste, disclosed that the G-SAT exams will be held on one day unlike other years and they have put in place “strict guidelines” to protect students, teachers, and all concerned.
“Strict protocols for social distancing will be adhered to with no more than 10 students with two supervisors in the exam room. The exams will be one day only from 8 am to 2 pm in 108 centres across the country,” Guiste said.
He explained that this year, given the COVID-19 issues, the Ministry has taken a decision to allow students who so desire, to write the exams at the school closest to them to ease the burden of travel.
“Parents have until June 19, 2020, to inform the principal about that matter so that we can make the necessary adjustments to facilitate the student. There will be no hugging, no touching of students. It will be strict protocols as per the ministry of health and temperature screening will also be done,” he said.