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Hon Penn wants clarity on lowering of EPE pass requirement

- plans to grill Education Minister on issue @ next HoA sitting
Following information coming out of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), regarding an announcement that the Ministry of Education had lowered the Exit Proficiency Exams (EPE) pass requirements, Opposition Leader, Marlon A. Penn (R8) has raised deep concerns over the standards of education in the territory. Photo: GIS/File
In an announcement on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) in Pasea Estate, officials noted that by lowering the pass requirement from 60% to 50% respectively, the school has recorded 9 new passes for the Exit Proficiency Exams (EPE). Photo: Facebook/File
In an announcement on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) in Pasea Estate, officials noted that by lowering the pass requirement from 60% to 50% respectively, the school has recorded 9 new passes for the Exit Proficiency Exams (EPE). Photo: Facebook/File
The Opposition Leader, speaking on the Monday, Jun 24, 2019, edition of ‘NDP Radio,’ expressed disbelieve that the Ministry would even lower the exam pass requirements and promised to grill Deputy Premier and Subject Minister for Education, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), at the next House of Assembly (HoA) Sitting. Photo: GIS/File
The Opposition Leader, speaking on the Monday, Jun 24, 2019, edition of ‘NDP Radio,’ expressed disbelieve that the Ministry would even lower the exam pass requirements and promised to grill Deputy Premier and Subject Minister for Education, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), at the next House of Assembly (HoA) Sitting. Photo: GIS/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – Following information coming out of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), regarding an announcement that the Ministry of Education had lowered the Exit Proficiency Exams (EPE) pass requirement by 10%, Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has raised deep concerns over the standard of education in the territory.

The Opposition Leader, speaking on the Monday, June 24, 2019, edition of ‘NDP Radio,’ expressed disbelief that the Ministry would even lower the exam pass requirements and promised to grill Deputy Premier and subject Minister for Education, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), at the next House of Assembly (HoA) Sitting.

Requirements lowered by 10% - Ms Garraway

In a statement Monday, June 24, 2019, acting ESHS Principal Vanessa Garraway—in announcing the 2019 top performers— told students gathered outside the ESHS building, “14 of our students did not pass the EPE Exams, since then the government has seen it fit to drop the pass mark to 50%,” she said. 

The EPE pass percentage, lowered from 60% to 50% was made to facilitate the several students who failed and according to the ESHS acting Principal, “with that, we have 9 new passes,” Garraway revealed.

Hon Penn, in addressing the information, told his listening audience, “In terms of the pass mark, I myself learn about this on social media… speaking about the announcement that it was immediately done to [lower] from 60% to 50%. It’s just unfortunate that we continue to lower our standards in the territory.”

He further told the audience, “We have to continue to uplift our people and hold certain standards and I will be pressing in the House of Assembly, the Minister responsible for that, on that issue to understand what was done, how it was done, why it was done and people are really concerned about it,” he said.

Clarity Needed – Hon Penn

Meanwhile, one caller, in expressing concerns at the move, extended gratitude to former Minister for Education, Hon Myron V. Walwyn, “for what he has done,” even as the former legislator is being investigated for a $1.6M allegedly corrupt wall construction project around the ESHS.

The caller implored that a lacking Department of Culture, no public library in Road Town, tent schools and the current school shift systems that happened under the NDP, are ultimately the responsibility of the 3-month old Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) led, Virgin Islands Party regime.

“At the moment our present education system has been marginalised and compromised,” the male caller said while calling for an educational analysis and doubting that any Minister would dare lower the requirements.

Hon Penn in response said “I will ask the question in the People’s house, to get the information to the public,” as part of seeking clarity on what exactly has happened.

Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) reached out to Hon Wheatley for a comment regarding the issue, to which he promised to make an official statement today, June 25, 2019.

16 Responses to “Hon Penn wants clarity on lowering of EPE pass requirement ”

  • Clarity (25/06/2019, 08:11) Like (52) Dislike (13) Reply
    It’s official Marlon is only opposing for the sake of opposing. He didn’t need clarity when the 6th form was forced down our throat or when his government transferred the sewage money to the Pier Park or not even clarity when Dr. Smith gave $7.2 million ahead of schedule for doing nothing.
  • VI young adult (25/06/2019, 09:57) Like (15) Dislike (19) Reply
    There was one time Myron was going to lower it and everybody kick up lucy. I guess because it came from VIP so now it is good. Unless we are making good and proper changes to our curriculum this is a recipe of failure on our youths.VI
  • Wow (25/06/2019, 10:03) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    @ clarity. What does these things have to do with the standard of education for our children? I pray for our children daily that God will help them to be good citizens any where in the world He leads them. Not graduating from school dunce people who cannot read and think for themselves and have to be pushed in a corner while others come in and order them around in their own home.
    • Clarity (25/06/2019, 13:11) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
      I’m happy to respond. Irma was September 2017, the high school was destroyed. We couldn’t fix it right away because we were waiting for loan to be approved while $7.2 million was wasted and could have been used to fix the High School. The 6th form affected students that were ready to graduate and the sewage affects the health of students.
  • Legislation?? (25/06/2019, 10:12) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    I'm wondering if there was an amendment to the Education Act to institute this exit exam in the first place.
    Did the last government made this up as they went along?
    If a child pass all their school leaving exams why are the children not allowed to graduate.
    Where did this exit exam come from?
    Marlon please stop asking questions, just to ask.
  • cromwell (25/06/2019, 10:18) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    Friends, there is an alternative, it might take some sole searching, but, it's a viable alternative none the less. The BVI is a British territory, part of a country that has one of the top educational system on the planet, one that has produced the second highest number of Nobel prize winners in the world. As a British tertitory we could easily bring in British tutors thereby raising the standards to the level we need, rather than lowering them even further. Now, whereas this might hurt our sensetivities, it will still be a small price to pay to give our youth a chance of gaining employment on their own merits as against what the current government has in store for them.
  • ann (25/06/2019, 10:39) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
    Smuff is a joke trust i
  • did you know? (25/06/2019, 12:40) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    Did you know the exit exam has nothing to do with the passing class grades?
    Did you know this exam produced several incorrect grade results over the years that had to be corrected?
    Did you know some of the students who would not have been allowed to graduate because of the EPE results are now graduating with high honors resulting from their hard work in school?
    Did you know other schools are getting credit for graduating our students because this exit exam and the faulty results prevented them from graduating in the BVI?
    Did you know most of the students that were not successful with one subject in the EPE never repeated a form in high school?
    Did you know that the EPE does not determine the children’s future ability.
    Did you know that the EPE makes the children feel like failures when they have worked so hard in school and with community hours?
    Instead of questioning this sensible decision, question the faulty system of the EPE.
    Who know know!!!
  • Hon (25/06/2019, 12:41) Like (5) Dislike (30) Reply
    Hon Penn for next premier .
    • @ Hon (25/06/2019, 14:02) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
      We not going backwards
    • wize up (25/06/2019, 16:44) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      @ Hon: some of we trusted the NDP and some of we realized wat happened....I personally voted NDP all the: remember it takes 13 people to run this country: So Hon Penn for next premier(penn is simply 1/13)
  • @and with 'did you know" (25/06/2019, 13:45) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    ...and who don't know would wonder
  • spider (25/06/2019, 17:42) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    “Clarity” I am really happy u responded to “wow” for it was apparent that him or her didn’t understand the sarcasm in what u you were saying..And I agree with you Re: Hon. Penn.. I find it amazing how all of a sudden he now has a voice but to the millions of dollars squandered he apparently was mute.. Hmmn..maybe if he had spoken openly back then with all the wastage of the tax payers monies persons would see him
    differently.. so “wow” I hope u have gained clarity..
  • Outspoken (26/06/2019, 06:21) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hon. Penn, the Minister has clarify the whole issue in a statement. Are you still dissatisfy with the lowering of the pass mark? It is so amazing how you sit among your clan for 8 long years, watch all sorts of wrongs but say nothing, now every thing the government do is an issue for you, remember the government is only there now for 4 months, you had 8 years. I heard your colleague from the 6th talking about all the government is doing is shifting blame and it’s time to move on. Are you guys for real? Do you guys really think it’s that easy to move on when there are so many unanswered questions. We still want the outcome of that wall investigations, the $7.2 million planes, the 8 million from east end sewage, millions for airport project, millions out brandywine, millions in the laying of water pipes and don’t forget the millions down the Pier Park. Yet you guys wants to move on, how can we and those things are still lingering. We need answers


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