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Common entrance exams remain

ST. JOHN’S — Grade Six students will be writing Common Entrance Examinations this year despite an earlier announcement that it would be removed in 2013.

Acting Director of Education Doristeen Etinoff said: “Everything will have to continue as is. There can not be a change until the whole universal education is put in place.”

In 2011, Minister of Education Dr. Jaqui Quinn Leandro announced the phasing out of the exam and the introduction of universal secondary education by September 2013. However, it appears that it will not become reality until the following school year in 2014.

On Thursday, the acting director said in reference to the start date: “We start at the beginning of the school year (September) so that we can get the profile of the student at least for that year.”

No option

The minister of education also announced that the best performing students leaving primary school will no longer have the option to choose which government secondary school they wish to attend from 2013.

Currently, the 100 students with the top score in the Common Entrance exam are given the option of selecting their preferred secondary school, which the minister said is most often Antigua Grammar School, Antigua Girls High School or Princess Margaret School.

The announcement that students will be placed in the school nearest in proximity to where they reside has been met with mixed reaction from the public.

Meanwhile, President of the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers, Vernest Mack, said to her knowledge Grade Six teachers continue to prepare their students for the exam slated for June, although the schools have not received any word from the ministry. (Antigua Observer)

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