More than 4,000 students from across the country have been sitting national assessment exams for the past week.
According to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, more than 2,400 students are sitting the School Certificate (S.S.C.) while another 2,000 students are taking on the Senior Secondary Leaving Certificate (S.S.L.C.) examinations.
These follow the National Primary Assessments in October.
The first exam, being English, was on Monday 13th with the final exams scheduled for 23rd November.
There are 17 examinable subjects for Year 12 and 18 subjects for Year 13.
The National Primary Assessments involved about 6,000 students who sat Year 1-3 and about 5,200 for Years 4-6.
Year 8 Students totalled 4,751 individuals who sat seven subjects – English, Samoan, science, social studies, mathematics, health and physical education and visual arts.
This is a first in the history of education in Samoa to run diagnostic assessments for all primary levels (except Year 7).
It was also a first to assess all curriculum subjects at Year 8, notably Visual Arts and Health and Physical Education.
The Samoa Primary Education Certification Assessment administered in previous years was revised from being an aptitude test to an achievement test which ensures closer alignment with the curriculum.
The rich diagnostic and achievement information can now be used to better inform teachers, students and parents of the teaching and learning needs.
The M.E.S.C. officials involved in distributing and implementing the various assessment duties for the 170 primary schools, were totally overwhelmed with the magnitude of parental, village and clergy support.
Ninety-nine percent of all schools (government, mission and private) in the primary sub-sector participated in this year’s national assessments.
In many ways, this has been a truly momentous and defining moment in the education of Samoa and the Ministry is optimistic that the findings will lead to better results in the future.
Whilst exam and test papers are being sat and scored, the M.E.S.C. are acutely aware of the importance of timely reporting especially for the Year 8, Year 12 and Year 13 students who want to know the options available to them in the new school year.
As such, the first wave of assessment results to be released will be the Year 8 Certification at the end of Term 4.
The senior examinations will follow closely behind with the release of the provisional results by early January 2018.
Timetable schedules for S.S.C. and S.S.L.C. are available on the M.E.S.C. website www.mesc.gov.ws.
As for every examination season, students’ need the support of parents and families to help them through what is often considered a highly stressful period.
With this in mind, the M.E.S.C. is very sure that Samoa is one in prayerfully wishing all students a successful examination period.