Education Minister says COVID affects students here

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By EDDIE OSIFELO

THE covid-19 pandemic has affected secondary students in their participation and academic performance in the national examination of 2021.

Minister of Education and Human Resources, Lanelle Tanangada confirmed this in response to Leader of Opposition, Matthew Wale in Parliament on Tuesday.

Tanangada said up to 23 percent left schools before the examination was administered in school.

She said the highest number of students that left school early at Year 11 was 971.

“The lowest number of students who registered to sit the Year 12 exams at the beginning of the year but did not six their examinations was 514.

“In terms of students performance, there was a significant decline across the examination years, particularly in Year 9 mathematic,” she said.

Further to that, Tanangada said most students did poorly in Year 9 mathematic examination.

She said there was also disruptions caused by covid-19 which hindered students from completing their Year 11 and Year 12 internal assessments.

“Therefore, students did not do well in their overall performances hence in their subjects that they study.

“Consequently, due to covid-19 pandemic, placement rates in 2021 have declined for Year 9 and Year 11 compare to 2020,” she said.

Tanangada said the minimal decline for Year 9 was 0.4 percent.

Moreover, Tanangada said the continue limited spaces in senior secondary level due to limited infrastructures, still resulted in 81.4 percent, that’s around 3,752 students unplaced and not being able to access Year 13 across the country.

She said this number excludes the enrolment of number of students undertaking USP and SINU Preliminary foundation programmes.

In addition, Tanangada said there was no external examination administer to primary school pupils since the removal of the senior secondary school entrance examination in 2019.

She said the large-scale assessment on Solomon Islands Standardised Test for Literacy and Numeracy was not conducted between 2020 and 2021.

“So, we don’t have data on primary school pupils’ academic performance.

“Schools have classroom assessment data that show how pupils performed in 2020 and 2021,” she added.


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