Greetings to the residents of the Virgin Islands, especially our Class Five pupils, their teachers, principals and parents! I am Myron V. Walwyn, Minister for Education and Culture and at this opportune time, I find it necessary to publicly encourage the Class Five pupils of this Territory to strive to do their best at the Primary Five Examinations.
The 2013 Primary Five Examinations will be held on Thursday, 2nd and Friday, 3rd May, 2013. This year, four hundred and twenty-eight (428) candidates will be sitting the examinations at their respective schools.
In an effort to continue our endeavors to Create a Culture of Excellence, the Department of Education, more than ever, is making every effort to ensure that each pupil has a fair chance of being successful in the examinations. Within our primary schools, provision is made for our differently-abled students to sit the examinations with the assistance of an aid. For the first time, a modified version of the examination has been created, and will be issued to those students to cater to their special needs. This is important if we are to give each child the same chance for success.
Regardless of the challenges that some of our pupils are facing, they are our children, and the Department of Education will do everything within its power and with its existing resources to ensure that these pupils receive the assistance they require to learn and to be successful.
The question may be asked, “When these pupils succeed at the Primary Five Examinations, what next?” Let me assure you that discussions have already commenced between the Department of Education and the Territory’s secondary schools to chart the way forward and plans will be implemented to assist in their educational pursuits.
As Minister, let me extend my heartfelt thanks to our teachers who have worked tirelessly to ensure that our Class Five pupils are prepared to sit the Primary Five Examinations this year. I am aware that much dedication, commitment and industry are required for a teacher to be a teacher in its noblest form.
I also realize that Class Five teachers are monitored more closely than teachers at other levels and that the Primary Five Examinations are a major accomplishment for our students.
It is every parent’s dream to have his or her class five child succeed at these examinations and in order for this success to be realized, parents I ask that you do your part. Parents, allow me to share with you a few tips. First, pray earnestly with and for your child. Second, remain calm. Avoid transferring your nervousness and anxiety to your child. Third, help your child to prepare for the examinations. Review notes and exercises. Fourth, provide your child with all the tools necessary to complete the examinations.
My dear students, on Thursday, 2nd and Friday, 3rd May, 2013, I encourage you to walk into your examination room with confidence and with your head held high. Sit at your assigned seat, take out you tools, take a deep breath, and before you begin to even write your name on the examination, whisper a prayer; ask God to help you to remember not only what you studied but also everything your teacher taught you. Let your chant of encouragement be “I know I can, I know I will!”
This year, students will be administered examinations in Maths, English, Social Studies and Science and for the first time, the results of these examinations will be published separately. This approach will allows us to see the strengths of our students and focus on those areas which require improvement.
We are hopeful for record-breaking results in all cases but providing students are unsuccessful, the supplementary exam will be administered in early June, allowing for students to sit the examinations well before graduation and be granted the opportunity to graduate with their peers once they are successful.
To qualify to sit the supplementary examination, a class five student must pass three subjects and attain a letter grade of “D” in the failed subject.
Supplementary sessions will be held for class five pupils for a period of four weeks; from Monday, 7th May, through Friday, 1st June, 2013. The Primary Five supplementary examinations will be administered to students who qualify during the week of June 4th.
In the last week of May, the Department of Education will distribute a list, to each primary school, indicating the names of those pupils who would have qualified to sit the supplementary examination.
All class five pupils are expected to attend these classes at their respective schools and with the implementation of the in-term supplementary sessions, the summer supplementary sessions will be discontinued.
Principals, as the instructional leaders and managers of the Territory’s primary schools, I thank you for your guidance and leadership and implore you to continue to encourage our students to aim for excellence.
It is quite fitting to note that the Interdenominational Day of Prayer is also scheduled for Thursday, 2nd May, 2013, and as such, I encourage us all to participate in the day’s activities and to intercede on behalf of our Primary Five pupils that God will grant them peace and clarity of mind and academic success.
Thank you for listening and once again Primary Five students, review, focus and ask God to bring to your memory all that you learned in preparation for your exams.
God Bless you and may He continue to bless these beautiful Virgin Islands.