Results for the annual common Entrance Examination are out, and students from the top performing schools on island could not be prouder. Not to mention their overly excited parents! Such was the atmosphere in Saint Lucia yesterday, as primary school students caught a glimpse of their future, as far as secondary school education is concerned.
Doubtless many will now spend their summer in anticipation of what secondary school life will be like, and their parents stocking up on uniforms, books, and other essentials.
The 2019 National Exam Results Presentation was carried live on the Ministry of Education’s Facebook page. The event saw the attendance of various representatives of the ministry, as well as school principals, teachers, and other stakeholders.
According to Chief Education Officer Rufina Charles who gave the welcome remarks, she understood the kind of sleepless nights some in attendance, and others who were not, might have had in anticipation of results day. The CEO noted on the occasion, ‘I know that some of us have butterflies, we are nervous, last night we did not sleep,’ adding, ‘whatever it is be thankful. I know that you tried. I am confident that you did all in your power to ensure that your students excelled.’
She urged all not to be disheartened, whatever the results might be, and through her words it was made even clearer just how much pressure teachers, particularly those of students in examination grades and forms, experience in and around examination season, which often is viewed by some as the time when teachers are required to prove their worth. Of course there are other factors, which are completely out of the control of these same teachers that influence results, including the capability of the students in their charge, access to the requisite tools and resources necessary to do their jobs, and the support of parents. Of course on results day, the only thing that really matters, is the result.
Still, the CEO said examinations; in this case Common Entrance, served as the ideal time to look at results, analyze them, and later make interventions for corrective measures to improve the performance of students. These interventions could be made at the primary school level for future students, or at the secondary school level, to help improve the performance of newly enrolled students.
At the event, it was announced that primary schools which had recorded remarkable improvements over the years, and continued to improve included Micoud Primary, Carmen Rene, Dennery Primary, Forrestiere Methodist Combined, and Delcer Combined, as well as many other schools which had seen notable improvements.
This year, 2272 students sat the Common Entrance Examination, as compared to 2224 last year. Seventy students received special assistance after being identified through the Ministry of Education’s Special Education Unit. Education officials at Monday’s event noted that getting the requisite personnel to assist those students this year had proved challenging.
Viewers of the live event commented throughout with their own thoughts, particularly on the issue of proper placements for students, whether in the technical, vocational, or academic aspects. It was felt by some that Zoning sometimes interfered with students being placed into schools that fit their needs, and that perhaps even, some students were at the Grade 6 level, too young to even know what schools would be best suited for their individual talents, skills, and interests.
In any event, the top five performing students of the 2019 Common Entrance year in Saint Lucia were Marie-Therese St Clair from the Dame PearletteLouisy Primary School (97 percent), Khye Armstrong from Augier Combined, Ajani Phillip from the Dame PearletteLouisy Primary, and Sayvion M Rosemond from the Camille Henry Primary School (all with 95.33 percent), and Brianna Larcher from the Carmen Rene Memorial School (94.67 percent).
Many watching felt the need to share that moving forward parents needed to be more supportive of teachers, and by extension the schools their children attended. Students were also urged not to compare themselves to others, as everyone had their own path to walk, and would be successful in their own right.
Congratulations to all students, from the team at the VOICE Newspaper!