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CXC Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment to replace Common Entrance Examination

CXC Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment to replace  Common Entrance Examination

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The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is hoping to introduce the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) programme in several countries across the Caribbean Region to replace the current Common Entrance Examination.{{more}}

Speaking at a recently held Seminar for Caribbean Journalist in Barbados, Gordon Harewood, Senior Assistant Registrar at CXC, stated that the programme, the newest initiative of the CXC, has already replaced the Common Entrance Examination in Grenada. Harewood stated that in other countries, the programme is being piloted in primary schools.

Harewood, giving a presentation on the programme, stated that the CPEA is an assessment of the student’s achievement at the primary school exit level. The CPEA, he added, will be a programme of continuous, multi faceted, school based assessments, combined with controlled and highly reliable external assessment by the CXC.

According to information provided on the programme by CXC, internal assessment will include assessment by pupils. This assessment will include self-assessment tasks constructed by groups of pupils. Peer assessment will also be done using rubrics developed by the class, and the teacher. Pupils will also be working as individuals and in pairs and groups and there will be a focus on reflection on what was learn and how it was learnt.

External Assessment will utilize three tests. The tests will comprise multiple choice items and constructed response questions. The tests will be constructed and calibrated by teams of primary and secondary teachers and will measure a common set of literacies developed under the curricula of primary schools across the region.

According to Harewood, forty per cent of the final score will be based on what the students do in school; and sixty per cent of the final score based on external assessment.

Earlier this year, at a forum on educational development held at the Methodist Church Hall, parents called for the elimination of the Common Entrance Examination, stating that the examination is “one of the most stressful days in the life of a young child.” Another parent stated that unforeseen circumstances, along with the pressures of the day, can cause the students not to perform as well as they could have.

One parent expressed during that meeting :”… That child who might have been doing well during the seven years they were in school, might just have a bad day that day, and would end up in some school he didn’t like. And somebody who might be very good at guessing might excel… and have to compete with other students who might have been toeing the line all along…”

Outlining the basics of the CPEA to journalists during the seminar, Harewood stated that the students will be assessed on language skills, mathematics, sciences and civics. The CPEA, he added, offers a wider range of assessment as opposed to the Common Entrance, which has a narrow focus. Students who sit the Common Entrance Examinations are tested on Mathematics, Language and General Paper.

Activities in the pupils internal assessment will include projects, book reports, and writing portfolios. Pupils will also practice “Can-do” skills in the four subject areas, English, Mathematics, Science and Civics.

The purpose of the CPEA, according to information presented by Harewood, is to support and enhance effective teaching at the primary level, to provide a measure of achievement at the end of primary schooling, and the CPEA also provides for a smooth transition to the secondary level.

Harewood added that the data for the assessment of students is collected over time and the data collected is used to measure the students’ learning. The students’ assessment will begin in Grade five and finish at Grade Six. The CPEA, according to Harewood’s presentation, will also encourage greater parental and pupil participation.(OS)

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