Tuesday 19 September, 2017

Penmanship not scored in SEA exam

Penmanship does not form part of the assessment for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination and will not be scored.

The assurance comes from Education Minister Anthony Garcia who sought to correct misinformation being circulated in the public domain that penmanship formed a component of the SEA.

“Penmanship is not being tested at primary school or the Secondary Entrance Assessment (S.E.A.). The S.E.A does not include Penmanship in its Table of Specifications and as such will not be scored.”

The Minister indicated that the Ministry has been paying emphasis to hand-writing skills of students, with the Penmanship with a Purpose Project being the latest initiative by the Ministry in its efforts toward ensuring that all primary school students leave with the ability to read, write and count.

The initiative is meant to refocuses schools’ attention on the hand-writing skills of students and takes a cross-curricular approach by evaluating written work in Mathematics, Science, History, Social Studies, Art and Foreign Languages.

The Ministry noted that handwriting is the primary mode of learning words, vocabulary and language, but many students experience handwriting difficulties.

Penmanship or the skill of writing by hand is geared toward helping students with language acquisition and learning in general, it said.

The Ministry added that penmanship contributes to students’ literacy, reading comprehension, recall, critical thinking, conceptual development and creativity.

Strategies to support implementation at schools include teacher modelling of best practice penmanship, monitoring of student writing across subjects, selection and application of a standard pattern across Infant 1 to Standard 5 and scheduling penmanship on the timetable.

The Penmanship with a Purpose Project is just one amongst many developed to enhance students’ receptivity and performance in the thrust to improve numeracy and literacy.

The Curriculum Division has tested students across 20 primary and 5 secondary schools assessing their literacy and numeracy level to inform Curriculum Development moving forward.

The Ministry added that while we live in an age dominated by keyboarding and touch screens, the contribution of writing by hand in a child’s development cannot be underestimated.