CAP gets going
By DARCEL CHOY Tuesday, August 28 2012
THE Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has put its seal of approval on the once controversial Continuous Assessment for Primary school students (CAP), now that the Education Ministry has revised the assessment, taking into consideration advice given by the union.
Speaking yesterday at TTUTA’s head office in Curepe, the union’s first vice-president Devanand Sinanan said the association held a meeting with Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan and Acting Director of Curriculum Development, Gaynelle Holdip, last Tuesday.
“We are reasonably pleased that many of the comments and suggestions we would have offered to the ministry were taken into consideration and a revised framework is now guiding the proposed introduction of the Continuous Assessment Component,” Sinanan said.
The CAP will begin from next week — the start of the new school term — and school officials will be required to operationalise creative writing for Standard Five students.
“The creative writing assessment will account for 20 percent of the mark that will go toward the student’s final Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) mark. The remaining 80 percent will come from the SEA exam students write in May, so students will be writing two subjects, Mathematics and Language Arts instead of three,” Sinanan said. At the Standard Four level, the ministry will seek to pilot other subjects including Science, Mathematics, Drama, Dance, Character and Citizenship Education and Physical Education. At the end of the academic year, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the pilot will be done by the Ministry. Sinanan disclosed that ministry officials are seriously considering removal of the National Test for Standard Four students.
He said the ministry has also indicated that they recognise there was a serious problem in literacy and numeracy based on all national tests and benchmark assessments.
“They are proposing to do a major intervention at Infants year two and Standards one and two. The training will begin in September and they are hoping to have the programme begin in October. They have recognised that the foundation is lacking in implementing the CAP and we commend them for the work to be done at the foundation level,” Sinanan said.
On training of teachers, he said the ministry is reviewing the entire approach. He said they are considering developing a pool of teachers trained in the assessment to be used to teach other teachers.
“In order to do this, they are seriously considering the introduction of a programme of substitute teachers for primary schools as it only exists in secondary schools,” Sinanan said, adding that the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) may have a part to play in the training process for teachers.