Common Entrance out, new exam in

Dominica will be piloting in several schools the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC)-designed Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) as the region moves away from the Common Entrance examinations.

CPEA is described as a modified and enhanced version of the Common Entrance exams and is already being used in Grenada to select students for entry into secondary schools.

Dr Gordon Harewood, senior assistant registrar, Examinations Development and Production Division, said regional governments requested that CXC put the CPEA together pointing out that it is more comprehensive and more complete than the exams currently being used.

Anguilla will be joining Dominica in piloting the CPEA in selected schools.

CXC officials say the CPEA will assist with “the quality measures in the education system and offer a common measure across schools and countries in the region” and is expected to create a seamless entrance into secondary school.

In January CXC officials met with local stakeholders including Ministry of Education officials, principals, teachers and parents to discuss the implication of the CPEA.

CPEA comprises two components and will analyze the students’ literacy in four key areas: English, Math, Science and Social Sciences or Civics, over a two year period.

One component is an internal evaluation where students are expected to complete an assessment within the classroom via projects, portfolios to prepare or tasks to perform.

The other component will be an exam prepared by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) for the students and they will be tested in the four literacy areas.

Officials say this exam will be conducted similar to the common entrance examination, in which a duration of about one hour and 30 minutes will be allocated for completion of the test in each literacy area.

The pilot programme is expected to begin in May.

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25 Comments

  1. September 13, 2015

    hehehehehahahahha dummmm :lol:

  2. Anonymous
    May 2, 2014

    i realy need more chllenges :-|

  3. shocked
    April 13, 2014

    :) well am happy that the students are challenged

  4. June 27, 2013

    my cousin do exam so good she get : b and 3c i glad we my friend do it to we so i glad he pass. i happy for them :lol: happy

  5. travaile
    March 8, 2012

    I think the program is a good one, in that it exposes our children to a variety of skills that they’ll utilise in secondary school and by extension the workplace. Pupils’ abilities are being assessed through out by the teacher, their peers and themselves.My only concern is how will it affect pupils’ placement in/ for high school. Give it a chance. I am currently using the program in my class and ‘m alreading seeing a difference, not only with the progression on my pupils butt also myself and instruction/manangemt capabilities.

  6. Justice and Truth
    March 7, 2012

    Passing reading, writing, maths – arithmetic and deportment should be qualifying factors for entrance to high schools. While in elementary school, they should be informed so as to prepare them for the exam and subsequently high school.

  7. Nkrumah Kwame
    March 7, 2012

    I am someone who relies on EVIDENCE to arrive at conclusions. Some parts of this article lends themselves to confusion. Dr. Harewood is quoted here as saying:”regional governments made the request”; WHO are these regional governments and WHEN was this request made? The article also states “Anguilla will join Dominica in the pilot”, but “already being used in Grenada to SELECT students for secondary schools”.

    What is happening here? What is WRONG with the current Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT)? What BENEFITS are to be gained with the switch to CXC? Are the COSTS for administering the exam going to be less? I don’t think so having worked with the institution for a three year period.

    And let us put to rest once and for all this debate about USE (Universal Secondary Education). Dominica, if it is to compete SUCCESSFULLY in this global community should be aiming at UTE (Universal Tertiary Education).It is a misnomer to ascribe illeteracy and underperformance in our schools to USE. The truth is that the children ARE NOT BEING TAUGHT HOW TO READ in the Primary schools because we, the public, judge primary schools based on their ability to obtain scholarships and bursaries, as is also done with the secondary schools which are judged on their performance at the EXTERNAL exams set by CXC.And since society ranks schools based on these performances, both principals and teachers at this level are FORCED, as it were, to focus on the potential scholarships and bursaries, so they get involved in what is referred to in educational language as “teaching to the test”. The consequence? a significant section of primary students are LEFT BEHIND and then we have a “justification” to attack USE.

    How does one explain that a NORMAL child goes to primary school for a minimum of SIX years, the equivalent of EIGHTEEN terms, report booklets are signed by teachers and of course the principals, and it is ONLY when in grade six that “it is discovered “that these students have a problem with literacy and numeracy? This is just laughable!!! The students were not given sufficient time to develop the foundations because teachers are more concerned with the number of scholarships the schools will get rather than concentrating on providing the children with the basis to be able to take advantage of USE. And the entire country is to be blamed, if this is the correct word to be used here.We are too prone to COMPARING students and schools.

    Now I said earlier that the students were not taught. This may be due to the quantity and quality of trained teachers at the schools, salaries, upward mobility or the lack thereof, available resources, etc.

    And one final word:there is NOTHING called academic and skills(referred here to such notions as the JSP which in my opinion was ill-timed and ill-conceived. Help me answer this question if you may: is being able to manipulate the computer academic or skilled?

    I sincerely believe that the politicians and policy makers in education must stop playing games with the nation’ children and PARENTS must take their roles seriously and DEMAND that the wherewithal needed in our schools, be provided. The teachers in our schools, Ministry of Education officials and the govt.need to take heed and act accordingly and immediately.

  8. curious
    March 6, 2012

    Well I think it is a great idea. I believe that the young minds should be challenged more. They will be better prepared for secondary school. I seriously hope that with this new type of examination we can get rid of universal secondary education. We have to realize the fact that not everyone is academically inclined and that the junior secondary program (JSP) filled in that gap for our student who were not able to excel. Some students are just blessed with their hands and things that they can do a scholar will never be able to do. So my question is why deprive a student to become the best that he or she can become by not making the appropriate environment available for them? Just my two cents.

  9. concerned citizen
    March 6, 2012

    I hope that this will put an end to universal secondary education because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is not working. This system is hurting everyone and it has created a serious burden on both students and teachers. The officials needs to put an end to this. Listen to the cry of the people.

  10. Thinking
    March 6, 2012

    I like the CXC approach, as a mother of a soon to be grade six student. i believe that students need to be tested on more areas and testing should not only focus on a one day exam.
    Let our students explore the depth of learning.

  11. Disappointed
    March 6, 2012

    Sadly I believe this regional program will expose the flaws in our system as our students will be “properly” measured and the what will the powers that be say next….

    will we still have Universal Secondary Education with this examination…if yes will we are still not on the right path?

  12. Anonymous
    March 6, 2012

    The most pressing question. Will the new style programme address the issue of students reading ability. A number of students who are unable to read, attend Secondary school.This problem is creating more disruption in the secondary schools, unfair to students who are able to read frustrating teachers and most importantly destroying the students who are unable to read.

    I hope we will return to Junior Secondary Programme, where many students who were late learners performed most satisfactorily and ended in the secondary school programme.

    • Citizen
      March 6, 2012

      I would not only classify those in the JSP as slow/late learners but also those who are not academically inclined but blessed with a skill(s) that requires training. There are few institutions in Dominica that cater to the needs of those persons who need such training.

  13. Reader
    March 6, 2012

    How does CPEA fit in into the whole scheme of Universal secondary Education? Will students be “selected” for secondary school, or will they be “streamed” based on their performance on CPEA? I’m looking forward to receiving more information. Still, I commend the move to revisit the exisiting structure and trying to improve on it regionally.

  14. RJ
    March 6, 2012

    I totally agree with this move.It is innovative.

  15. rone
    March 6, 2012

    It begins in May??? But i was told by school officials of my daughter’s school that it only begins for next year Common Entrance. HMMMM

    • observant
      March 6, 2012

      Pilot they piloting it in May. That is they are just testing it out. The real thing begins next year they are saying.

    • SMPS
      March 6, 2012

      May bcuz it’s a 2-yr prog…so the kids who r in grade 5 now will start off in May and continue while in grade 6

    • So I see it
      March 7, 2012

      Piloting begins in May. In other words, they are going to experiment to see whether it will work here.

  16. Citizen
    March 6, 2012

    In this case, why doesn’t the Ministry of Education implement the CAPE program as well. Be consistent from the primary to tertiary level in education. I think that the relevant authorities should look into this matter as it would benefit the students in the long run.

  17. So I see it
    March 6, 2012

    The way it was explained – a regional exam will make it easier to assess your child if you need to move to another island.

    I hope this new exam will make primary school education be better preparation for secondary school. The existing method of letting the child cram all the way through Grade 6 in order to get a scholarship is not the best. Children can pass without actually learning anything. This new one appears to place more focus on the basics – reading, writing and maths.

    Our teaching methods have to change though, to accommodate the internal assessment segment. Best wishes to the Min. of Education on this move. We are always complaining that you are not doing anything about USC. Maybe this will help.

  18. March 6, 2012

    “it is already being used in Grenada to ‘select’ students”…. the key word there is ‘select’… how does that affect us here in dominica… where U.S.E is implemented… D.N.O please find out for us how this will take action in dominica… we’d like to know from the ministry of education how they plan to implement the CPEA which ‘selects’ students for secondary school… while we have the U.S.E system in place… *i’mwatching*

  19. Matriculation
    March 6, 2012

    Now the parents are going to have an extra burden to pay costs for CXE common entrance. Thats not going to improve any quality it is just going to make a financial burden.

    What is needed is cariculum reinforcement of the traditional 3 R’s – read, writing and arithmetics all them bogus intellectual sofhistication not going to improvethe basics.

  20. jo
    March 6, 2012

    what happen the common entrance to easy or what!trying to add a project here and there to confuse the young ones..a little more sophistication….hope the change will be in the children’s best interest!!!

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