CPEA: the promise realized

There is ongoing debate about the efficacy of the various examinations given to pupils at the end of primary school in some Caribbean countries.

The discussion is around the kind of examination that is used and the placement of pupils to secondary schools using the scores from the examination. These are separate issues and should be treated as such.

The Director of the School of Education, Professor Joel Warrican, at a recent meeting of the Joint Board of Teachers education made the case for the removal of these common entrance examinations in the Caribbean. Dr Martin Baptise, Education Specialist at CDB, reminded us the need to measure the achievement of the pupils at the end of primary school.

In 2012, CXC introduced the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA). The purpose was to improve the quality of education in primary schools and have more students entering secondary school with the literacies needed for them to benefit fully from the secondary school education.

The preliminary results from the 2018 CSEC® examinations are in. A sample of students who sat CSEC® English A and Mathematics. An analysis was done for those who had completed the CPEA programme in primary school and those who did not follow the CPEA programme in primary school.

Those students who followed the CPEA programme performed better than those who did not follow the CPEA programme when they sat CSEC® English and Mathematics. With a registration fee of only $25 BDS per pupil, the CPEA programme has demonstrated significant returns on investment. Attached is a study that was done in Jamaica and the tables for the CPEA relationship with CSEC®.     

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