Changes to NGSAPeople’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament and former Education Minister Priya Manickchand has again lashed out at Government over the “real” changes made to the format of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), noting that it could lead to subjectivity.Former Education Minister Priya ManickchandEducation Minister,Dr Rupert RoopnaraineThe NGSA, expected to be written by more than 14,000 students across the country in a matter of two weeks, now requires students to inscribe their names on the examination paper along with their identification/registration numbers.Manickchand suggested that the move to change the format and layout of the exam from the way it has been done for decades, could be an attempt at victimisation.But that is just a suggestion and the former Education Minister said she hopes Government through the Education Ministry could bring reason for its sudden decision to ask students to now write their names on their examination papers.“We have as have countries all over the world, marked with examination numbers without any problems. Why are you asking for the addition of names now? There is no value in adding the names. There is nothing you could help the Ministry administratively if you add names,” she said.Manickchand said this new development could cause much more trouble than in any way help, and her Party is still seeking to figure out in what way the change could help. She said the Ministry has not been forthcoming with information regarding this.A number of parents, she noted, have contacted her with concerns over the changes. That had prompted her to make contact with officials at the Ministry, including Chief Education Officer Olato Sam and the officer responsible for primary education. According to Manickchand, although she had a detailed response, she still could not fathom the reason for children’s name being written on their exam paper.“It is just simple reason. There is too much room for subjectivity, when a marker or administrator sees a name on a paper; too much room for subjectivity and it is unnecessary. What bothers me is why the Ministry would want to do something like this that would bring into question the integrity of the system.”She said it is always hard to keep integrity of examinations intact. This new development, she said, will most definitely shake the integrity of the examination, which took “many years building up”.Meanwhile, the Ministry immediately responding the Manickchand’s concerns explained that each of the four subjects written in the National Grade Six Assessment has two papers (Paper One and Paper Two). It said as it relates to candidate information, the two papers require different sets of information. For Paper One, the answer sheets will have the candidate information which will include the candidate’s name and identification number. The candidates will also be required to sign their names as a mechanism to ensure that the candidate for whom the paper was prepared is actually the one who answers the questions. This will have no implications for marking because these answer sheets are all marked electronically.As it relates to Paper Two, the Ministry said the cover page of the answer sheet is bifurcated and perforated. The Test Code, Subject, and Candidate Number are required on both sides. The Test Code and Subject will already be printed while candidates will be required to write in their Candidate Number – this information is provided for them on the timetables given to every candidate.In addition to this, the Education Ministry informed that on the right half of the paper only, candidates are also required to write in the name of their school, their full name, date of birth and gender. The right side of the sheets are all detached prior to the commencement of the marking of Paper Two and retained for administrative purposes only.The information that would be evident during the marking process would be the Test Code, Subject, and Candidate Number only.“These are administrative mechanisms will have no bearing on the marking process whatsoever,” the Ministry assured.