The Minister of Education picks up the gauntlet and answers what parents, students and teachers attribute to him, regarding the results of the four-month exams, giving information about the exams in order to strengthen his position.
As stated in a relevant announcement, regarding the protests that have been publicly expressed about the results of the students in the written assessment of the first four months, the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth (YPAN) announces that taking into account the representations and concerns expressed by the Pancypriot Confederation of Federations of Associations of Parents of Public Schools of Secondary Education from the first days of the exams and before any correction was even made and there were results, the Ministry undertook, as the President of the Confederation was also informed, to pay special attention to the whole process. Specifically, the examination essays were evaluated and then a thorough study of the results.
“This issue was dealt with by the relevant inspectors, their advisers and the Planning Office. While the results were scientifically processed and examined by experts, Mathematicians and Statisticians. Through this investigation and verification, claims that anything out of the ordinary was happening or that any particular problem was observed were not confirmed.”
In the announcement it is noted that “the results, from whatever angle one looks at them, do not justify claims that are made publicly. In particular, the results of the written assessments in high schools seem to be better than expected.”
The Ministry of Education adds that with regard to the 3rd High School Mathematical Orientation exam, for which the Confederation had raised an issue, the analysis of the results shows that:
– The average score is practically the same as last year (9.5/20 vs. 9.6/20) and compares favorably with the last comparable Pan-Cypriot Examinations (8.3/20).
– The distribution of scores follows a curve almost the same as last year – approaching to some extent a smooth distribution (as shown in the attached graph).
– The percentage of students who had a score above the “base”, i.e. 10/20 to 20/20 is higher this year than last year (48.5% compared to 46.8%). It also compares favorably with the results of the last Pancypriot Examinations. In this regard, the percentage of those who scored below the “base” this year is relatively lower.
– While the percentage of top performing students, 18-20/20 is roughly the same in this year's and last year's exam, around 8%.
“Therefore, the claim that the exam paper was particularly difficult or that the students performed lower does not seem to be supported. The Confederation of Parents has even been informed a few days ago in writing about this issue, along with the assurance that based on the results recorded, no discussion of any action is justified”.
In the announcement it is noted that a similar image it is also recorded regarding the performance of the final students in New Greek, which, as can be seen in the figures attached to the Table, are improved compared to the previous year.
“The performances recorded in the other classes of the Lyceum are similar and comparable to previous years. In addition, it is noted that the results of the evaluations in the high schools are judged quite well, which were also given special importance, since it was the first time that the students of those ages had the experience of a central written evaluation”.
The Ministry of Education clarifies that in the 1st high school, 70% of the students had a score above 10/20 in New Greek, while 28% were evaluated with 15-20/20. In Mathematics 58.5% scored above 10/20 and 29.5% scored 15-20/20. In History, with an average score of 13.8/20, 83% scored above 10/20, while the same results were recorded in Biology, with 80% scoring above 10/20 and 54% between 15 and 20/20 .
In 2nd High School, 54% had a score of over 10/20 in Mathematics and 28% had a score of 15-20/20, while in Greek 70% scored over 10/20 and 35% had scores of 15-20/20. Accordingly, in the 3rd year of high school, 59% had a score above 10/20 in New Greek and 29% between 15 and 20/20, while in Mathematics 46% and 19% had the same performance.
“However, these satisfactory performances recorded in the High School confirm the need for evaluation and assessment, precisely for cases where deficiencies or weaknesses are identified that must be addressed. The reliable and structured evaluation is beneficial both for each of the students and teachers who find out the results of the teaching, as well as for each school and for the Ministry as a whole”.
It is clarified, that the data itself does not justify the particular protests, nor does it appear that there was any problem in terms of the reliability of the assessments of the 1st quarter, and certainly in no way can a question of “cancellation” arise, as it sounds.
“The attempt by some to discredit the evaluation process, in which all teachers are active in various ways, either as teachers or as supervisors and correctors, or as consultants and inspectors, is equivalent to discrediting the school as a whole. When some question the work of teachers and the Ministry in terms of evaluation, do they realize that they are also questioning the teaching done by them themselves?”
The Ministry of Education, concluding, indicated that “parents are the first who should ask schools for their children to be taught as much as possible and for there to be reliable evaluation procedures to be able to establish that the proficiency/success indicators and learning objectives are being achieved Results. There is nothing to demonstrate that the logic of the vague repeated request to “reduce the material” and to abolish the exams will benefit education and children”.