Examinations to assess public school system start on Sunday

Pupils in public schools across the country will sit exams next week to help the Ministry of Education assess their knowledge and the effectiveness of each school's teaching methods.

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Pupils in public schools across the country will sit exams next week to help the Ministry of Education assess their knowledge and the effectiveness of each school's teaching methods. From Sunday until Wednesday Grades 3 to 12 will be taking part in the tests, which have been prepared by the ministry's examination and assessment department and cover English comprehension and composition, Arabic language, mathematics and science.

"The national examinations come as part of the ministry's strategic plan that coincides with the development and progress of the nation," said Rashid al Nuaimi, director general at the Ministry of Education. "They are considered one of the ministry's important projects that call for assessment unification in all public schools and aim for developing the students' performance and raising their critical thinking skills," he said in a statement announcing the examination dates yesterday. The purpose was to improve the education system in all the teaching stages of public schools.

Mr al Nuaimi asked schools to prepare the pupils for the exams and urged the students not to fear the examination process as its purpose was not to see whether they passed or failed, but to gauge and develop each student's standard, performance ability and skills. Pupils were also told to answer every question, leaving none blank, and to take the tests seriously despite the results having no impact on their final grades.

Ayesha al Marri, director of the assessment and examination department, said: "The test results will not affect each student's overall school grades. "These tests are solely for the ministry's purpose, to assess students and to assess schools, and of course, to assess the educational curriculum." Ms al Marri did not say how the students' and school's scores would be assessed, nor when the results would be made public.

However, the results gathered would be used to improve teaching methods where needed, and measure the educational level of students in their respective grades, she said. Ms al Marri said a team from her department along with members of the education zones had been visiting schools to prepare them for the examinations and acquaint them with nature of the exams, their goals and how they were to be conducted.

hkhalaf@thenational.ae