GLEANER: The performance task component of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) seeks to minimise parental interference and allow students to apply analytical skills to make sense of the world around them through projects.
"... We are aware that many times, the projects that children get at the primary level is actually the parents' projects. We see them [parents] going to school with them. We see the parents at the office getting all different kinds of things to assist them," Dr Grace McLean, chief education officer, told a Gleaner Editors' Forum on Monday.
Performance tasks will be administered during grades four and five during the summer and Christmas terms in grade six. Students will do performance tasks in language arts and mathematics in grades four and six and all four subjects, which include science and social studies in grade five.
She explained, "The performance task may involve, for example, a field trip to a corner shop in Brompton or Marley Hill or Sturge Town, and so on, while in Kingston, it may be a supermarket."
The chief education officer noted that the students would examine the processes at play and then discuss links to principles they have learned in a particular subject.
McLean continued: "Now, when the teacher is satisfied that he or she would have generated enough discussion and there is some understanding in terms of the fundamental principles, then there will be a particular day when the students will be allowed to answer some specific questions ... ."
The scripts will be collected and marked by select teachers in a standardised manner, similar to the process employed for the communication task in the Grade Six Achievement Test.
Terry-Ann Thomas Gayle, manager of the Student Assessment Unit at the education ministry, explained that the scoring for the performance task during the three years represents 20 per cent of the overall grade.
She outlined that parents would be able to request a review and an independent panel will rescore the script. There is a quality assurance framework to detect and address irregularities.
In addition to the performance tasks, the curriculum-based tests, consisting solely of grade six content, will account for 50 per cent of a student's grade and the ability test has a weight of 30 per cent.
CAPTION ONE: Terry-Ann Thomas Gayle, manager, Student Assessment Unit, Minister of Education, Youth and Information.
CAPTION TWO: Dr Grace McLean, chief education officer, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information