More boys are successful at the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) examination, but less are graduating from secondary schools and/or are successfully writing CXC examinations after the expected five years.
Education Minister Anthony Boatswain said that more boys are lost somewhere between forms two and three, due to “deviant behaviour.” Boatswain told the Parliament last Friday that “the boys are dropping out of secondary schools at a faster rate than girls, and so we have a situation where more girls are pursuing further education than boys.”
Minister Boatswain said that the solution to this problem is not just one for the government, but one that will involve a partnership with parents and the wider community. “We are losing too many of our boys on the road. We need to encourage them, we need to take action to ensure that they reach the end of the secondary school journey and continue on,” he said.
He also informed Parliament that “there is no guarantee” that all the children who will be sitting the upcoming CPEA entrance examination will be placed in a secondary school, explaining that parents should understand that there are some children whose assessment will indicate that they are not fully prepared to embark on that journey.
“It’s for this reason that in 2013 we kept back 40 children. This year they are ready and will move on to a secondary school,” Boatswain assured.
Hundreds of grade six primary school students will on Friday 16 May, sit the CPEA. Successful students will begin their secondary school life from September 2014.