Education officer concerned with disparity between SBA and exam scores

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Education Officer with responsibility for Measurement & Evaluation Patricia Collins has suggested the format of school- based assessments (SBAs) may need to be changed at the primary level.

Collins is concerned that many parents are doing the assessment for their children, and this may be the reason for the wide gap in students’ SBA marks and the scores for final exams.

She suggested in future that SBAs may need to be done in the classroom under the watchful eye of the teacher.

Students can get 20 per cent of their marks in the Common Entrance Examination from the SBAs to go towards their final score.

“A number of students do get 20 per cent, 15 per cent, 16 per cent etcetera, but when it comes to the problem-solving section of the paper they fail miserably. It seems as if the SBA mark is sort of sending up the mark when the children really and truly have serious weaknesses,” Collins said.

The education officer said she wants to see the system changed when the new school year begins.

“I think 2011 September something needs to be done because I am convinced that a number of the parents are in fact doing the students SBAs for them so there is need for closer monitoring of the SBAs. They need to be done, I think, in class as opposed to at home,” Collins added.

Collins said it was important that parents do not do the work for the students. She is calling on the exam’s co-ordinator to review the system before the new school year begins.