IMG 20170518 100410The official results for the Year 8 Samoa Primary Education Certificate of Achievement (SPECA) were officially endorsed for release to schools by the Hon Loau        Solamalemalo Keneti Sio, Minister of Education Sports and Culture, on Tuesday 12th of December. MESC officials were out in full force disseminating the results to district school inspectors and school principals of government, mission & private schools in time for all government school prize giving celebrations. This made as planned, the distribution of SPECA certificates by Friday 14 December being the end of the school year.

Year 8 students are assessed in 7 subjects: English, Gagana Samoa, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Health & Physical Education and Visual Arts. With the continuing developments in diagnostic assessments from Years 1 to Years 7, it is expected that students completing Year 8 will be of a calibre and high standard that Samoa knows is possible.

Since 2017, the SPECA moved its focus from being an aptitude assessment, to that of both achievement and diagnostic. Given this, the Hon Minister of MESC is satisfied with progress to date noting that improvement in pass rates has been made in six out of the seven subjects ranging from 2.5% in Science to 11.3% for Visual Arts; pleasingly both Mathematics and English show an improvement of 5.2% and 6% respectively, with HPE at 5.2% and Social Science at 7.8%.Gagana Samoa however showed a decrease of 1.2% in pass rate. These results will also provide the new achievement baselines for the Education Sector Plan 2019-2024.

The Hon Minister also commented however that even with the improvement in pass rates demonstrated by the 2018 SPECA results, there is still much work to be done in better addressing the learning needs of students as they progress onto secondary level. One thing is for sure, the very detailed diagnostic results will better inform the ministry, teachers and students of existing learning gaps so that principals and teachers can be more targeted with the design of their teaching and learning interventions at the school level. This way, in looking ahead, we can expect to eventually have improved pass rates in all subjects at Year 12 SSC and Year 13 SSLC. The national assessment system the ministry is supporting and developing, is part and parcel of Samoa’s challenge to ensure all her children are literate and numerate, offering them the best opportunities to lead active and fulfilling contributory lives for their families, communities and Samoa.

The reporting of all primary nationals assessments (SPECA and SPELL - Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6) and the National Secondary Examinations (SSC and SSLC), will be presented at the MESC Annual Conference in January 2019.