Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Ministry of Education has embarked on an initiative to further strengthen the education sector in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis through the rollout of a new national assessment dubbed Key Stage Assessment of Learning (KAL), the results of which will be used in improving the education system so that teachers and students will maximize teaching and learning opportunities within and without the classroom.
“KAL promises to be an assessment that should not provide the students with that much anxiety. We are hoping that the students could come to school and their teachers would just tell them to have a seat, we are going to be doing something today. It is an assessment and we are not expecting them to study, prepare or invest heavily into the preparation of KAL,” said Assessment Coordinator at the Curriculum Development Unit – Teacher Resources Center (CDU-TRC) within the Ministry of Education, Ornella Halliday-Bacchus, during her March 30 appearance on Working for You.
Mrs. Halliday-Bacchus said that the ministry discontinued the streaming of students. KAL is not a placement tool. Instead, it is about finding out where they are in terms of the learning outcomes, as well as addressing the needs that they would have.
“The results from KAL will not be used to place the students. I think that, in and of itself, would present some sort of relaxation for parents as to how they should go about tackling the KAL. The results from the KAL are going to be used to test the curriculum to let us know if this new curriculum is working,” said the assessment coordinator. “Students are not going to be placed based on how they perform. We are not even giving results in the form of grades.
Mrs. Halliday-Bacchus reflected on past sittings of the Test of Standards where parents and students, as well as teachers, were eager to find what class students would be placed in. She added, however, that this time around it is different.
“The results this time will be different in the sense that we are going to be generating reports for the students, teachers and also for curriculum officers, administrators and the ministry. Gone are the days when you would get a report saying that your children got a percentage but instead we would be able to explain to the parents and teachers how the students would have performed according to the different learning outcomes,” she said.
She further added that from the KAL assessments, parents will be able to find out if students require extra assistance in an area of learning. Mrs. Halliday-Bacchus noted that parents would get a detailed report on their child’s performance.