JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the Grade Nine Diagnostic Test will be implemented during the 2019/2020 academic year.
He made the disclosure at a JIS Think Tank held recently at the agency’s head office in Kingston.
He explained that the diagnostic test will assess students’ readiness, their performance and achievements up to grade nine.
The Education Minister said that while national assessments are undertaken at various levels of the education system there is no formal evaluation of students after the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and before the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
“This is a very important assessment because at the high-school, traditionally, this is the stage where teachers try to understand students’ strengths, weaknesses and their interests to prepare them for their exit at Grade 11, including their career path,” he pointed out.
“So, what we really want to do is to formalise the process because the Ministry needs the data and it is important to have this information to understand students’ performance,” he noted further.
Minister Reid also informed that plans are “way advanced” for the phasing out of the GSAT, and its replacement by the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) in 2019/2020.
“What we are now doing is rolling out the curriculum that will lead to the new assessment. We will engage wide stakeholder consultation in terms of the new curriculum, the new modalities of testing and the possible implications for change in placements,” the Minister said.
He explained that the PEP, which will be a composite test, will include mental ability, curriculum testing and teacher or school-based evaluation.
He added that the exam will focus on high-order skills and will not be a multiple choice-type exam as exists with GSAT.
Senator Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information