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Education school test concept : Hands student holding pencil for testing exams writing answer sheet or exercise for taking fill in admission exam multiple carbon paper computer at university classroom

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The Teachers’ Union says that the quality of grades rather than the number of passes should be the overriding factor when ranking Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations performances.

Oswald Robinson, the union’s president, gave this opinion at a press conference last week when asked to comment on a situation where a student who wrote 12 subjects and obtained 12 grade ones was outranked by another who wrote 15 subjects and obtained 5 grade ones, 8 grade twos and 1 grade three.

“The one with the 12 is the top student,” Robinson said.

Commenting more broadly, Robinson said, “We always press for quality.”

He noted the government’s policy of universal access to secondary education, under which each student is guaranteed a space in a secondary school regardless of how they perform in the primary school exit assessment.

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“…  they’re merely pushing quantity. But there’s a problem with quality because you may push a large number of students, even promote them, they go over into the secondary school, but if they have not gone there with the prerequisites, there are certain skills you must master before go into secondary school, but whether you pass or fail, you’re going,” Robinson said.

“And if the secondary schools do not have a remediation programme in place to deal with some of these deficiencies, then these two children would just be moving up.”

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