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Education Minister Cites Reading as Key to Primary Exit Profile Student Preparations


JIS: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says reading will help in preparing students for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), which is scheduled to commence in the 2018/19 academic year.


“It is very opportune that as we are focused on the transition from the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) to PEP, we recognise that it is through reading and self-directed learning that we are going to get students to apply their knowledge that they would have acquired.


“In this way, we can see how they apply those concepts in real life and demonstrate their understanding… because that is part of how the exam is going to be structured. They have to be able to read, interpret and apply the concept, and explain themselves in a written form. This is a skill set that is at the very core of success in education,” he said.


The Minister was speaking with JIS News on May 8 at the New Providence Primary School in Kingston, where he read to a group of grade-four students in celebration of Read Across Jamaica Day 2018.


PEP, which will replace GSAT as the national secondary-school entrance test, is intended to provide an improved and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.


It will comprise a Performance Task Test, Ability Task Test and a Curriculum-Based Test.


Senator Reid emphasised that promoting literacy remains a top priority for his Ministry.


“The whole culture of reading is very important. It is in reading, particularly individual, self-directed reading, that (we grow). We encourage reading… for recreation, knowledge and empowerment,” he said.


Noting that there are many persons across society who have not achieved the level of education and training that is desirable, Senator Reid underscored that for this to be reversed, “we have to institutionalise the culture of reading to strengthen our human resource capabilities”.


Read Across Jamaica Day coincided with activities during May marking Child Month.


The annual day, organised by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, aims to promote the importance of literacy and is part of activities in observance of Education Week 2018, from May 5 to 11.


CAPTION: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, shows a picture in a book to grade-four students of New Providence Primary School in Kingston during an interactive reading session at the institution on Tuesday (May 8) in observance of Read Across Jamaica Day 2018. The exercise, which is organized annually by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, forms part of activities marking Education Week, being observed this year from May 5 to 11. Beside Senator Reid (from left) are Kebra Simpson, Marstaian Williams and Rasheed Tucker.