JIS: Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, says the Ministry has commenced work with the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) as part of preparations for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations in 2019.
Books have already been submitted to the Ministry for review, and this should be completed for the 2019 school year.
Speaking with JIS News in a recent interview, Dr. McLean explained that although the process of developing material is under way, it will take time for the new set of grade-six books to be developed for use under the new system. As a result, some existing material will be used in the interim.
“We do not expect that the full set of books will be out until about 2020/2021. However, the content has not changed completely, so there are textbooks that will continue to be used, along with resource material that would have been specially developed by the Ministry to be distributed to schools this year for that preparation,” she informed.
The PEP, which students will sit for the first time next year, replaces the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary-school-placement examination. It is intended to provide an improved and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary level education.
Dr. McLean pointed out that the Ministry will provide guidance in the development of workbooks.
“I know definitely for 2019, we will not have adequate workbooks approved by the Ministry on the market. That is why the Ministry will do the specimen paper and other guidelines that we will provide to the system for them to utilise. By 2020, we expect that everything will be sorted out,” she said.
Dr. McLean explained that those workbooks are provided by publishers, and schools decide whether they want the students/parents to buy them.
“Those are not going to assist significantly, because those workbooks are mainly multiple-choice questions or Communication Task questions. So, we will have to ensure that we provide guidance to the system in terms of workbooks,” she said.
CAPTION: Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, speaks at a Kiwanis Club of Downtown Kingston luncheon recently.