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Ombudsman to probe Form 1 selection criteria

The office of the Ombudsman is expected to conduct an independent investigation on the concerns surrounding the selection procedure in the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education-PSLCE exams.

This has been revealed by the Ministry of Education.

It follows a public criticism accusing the government of sidelining students from the northern region in the selection process.

According to a statement signed by Secretary for Education, Chikondano Mussa, the government acknowledges and understands the concerns expressed in light of the recently released PSLCE results.

“Many inequalities have been longstanding and result from the persistent under-investment, politicization and maladministration of education in the country,” the statement further states.

On concerns that there is favoritism in the selection process as it is based on region of origin, the ministry insists that selection is purely based ‘on merit’.

“no quota system is used as successful candidates are selected depending on aggregate scores of the top five PSLCE subjects including English,” explains Mussa in the statement.

The involvement of the Ombudsman’s office on the matter is in response to public condemnation over the recently released exams.

An Independent Expert Group is expected to be instituted so that it undertakes a multi-year analysis of the PSLCE examination results to determine the nature, extent and causes of inequities in the national exams.

The investigations and an audit by the Ombudsman are also expected to review in detail the events and processes involved in awarding grades and the secondary school selection process for the 2019/2020 academic year.

The audit report is expected to be released within four months.

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