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Reid assures that PEP students will have enough material

Friday, September 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Parents of students sitting the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) are being assured that enough materials will be provided to adequately prepare students for the upcoming examination.

Speaking at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Portmore at the Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF) headquarters on Ruthven Road in Kingston on Wednesday, Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator Ruel Reid, said sample items and practice materials are to be made available to the education system and will be accessible free of cost.

“We're going to also have these practice materials online (on) an exclusive website. All materials necessary for assisting in preparing our students, as well as teachers to deliver the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) and PEP, are going to be made available to the society,” he pointed out.

The NSC aims to enhance the quality of education offered to learners and improve the general academic performance, attitude and behaviour of students, which will redound to the positive shaping of the national, social and economic fabric.

The curriculum, which is learner-centred and emphasises problem-solving skills, will help to realise the mantra of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information that 'every child can learn… every child must learn'.

Addressing the concerns of some parents who had purchased workbooks designed for the obsolete Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), the Minister insisted that students will have “limited preparation in utilising those books for PEP”.

He urged parents not to panic, as the ministry will “provide the core curriculum texts for the (primary school) system”.

Reid said he has instructed the Chief Education Officer, Dr Grace McLean, to investigate “how wrong information might have gotten out there”.

“I got one particular complaint from a primary school where it has been alleged that a secretary sent out the wrong information. However, this is an isolated incident and not general. I want parents and the parent-teacher associations (PTAs) to be vigilant to ensure that schools are conforming to the ministry's directives,” he said.

The PEP replaces the GSAT as the national secondary-school entrance test and is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students' academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.

It comprises a performance task, ability test and a curriculum-based test. Students who entered grade six in September 2018 will comprise the first PEP cohort.

The education ministry has been training teachers for implementation of the examination.

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