GLEANER: Authors of Primary Exit Profile (PEP) textbooks are making adjustments to meet the new demands of the education sector regarding the examination’s implementation.
The PEP replaces the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary-school entrance test.
It is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.
Author of the Performance Task book PEP Practice for Grades Four, Five and Six Students and the Ability Test workbook PEP Practice for Grades Four, Five and Six Students, Dr Shalette Ashman, said she has been preparing to meet the new standards.
“We are PEP-ready, so we have a PEP app, a PEP website, and we have a PEP Performance Task book and a PEP Ability Test book,” she outlined.
Additionally, Ashman said she is currently working on a book titled JamaVerse PEP Mathematics Comic Book, which is intended to communicate mathematics principles in an exciting way.
“The comic basically connects with the lives of five kids, their dog, and a superhero. They go through Jamaica solving problems, getting super powers, and each page of the comic has a PEP math question. It’s going to encourage reading, as well as working PEP math questions,” she stated.
Ashman further spoke of an upcoming anime feature and video game for the comic series.
“One of the television [stations] has already indicated that they want to air the anime, and we have a video game that we are going to be putting on the Google Play Store,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ashman said that grade-six teachers are able to get free copies of the two PEP books now available by contacting her office.
“Teachers who have adopted, meaning that they are using the book with their students, will get access to both books at no cost, and they’ll also get access to our website, www.learninghub.online, absolutely free. They can call our office at (876) 926-1221 or (876) 351-7777,” she said.
She also indicates that Digicel subscribers can access PEP data on www.learninghub.online for free.
“We have a partnership with Digicel, so once you have a Digicel phone, you don’t even need credit on your phone to go on our website. All the learning material on our website is free. The only thing you pay for is testing material,” she said.
Prepared For Pep
Meanwhile, author of the Cheetah PEP practice books, Dr Paulette Trowers-Lawrence, said her publishing agency is also prepared for PEP.
She said that three books have already been published: PEP Science Practice Questions, PEP Ability Practice Questions, and PEP Mathematics Practice Questions.
“We have constructed the books in such a way to align with the National Standards Curriculum. For instance, with the maths, we break those questions down based on the six question types. So for instance, for numbers, we’ll have single responses, multiple responses, short constructed answers, and also extended activities and order grids,” Trowers-Lawrence explained.
“This makes it easier for the teacher to utilise the material in the classroom and also for a child who wants to work independently on his or her own at home or school,” she adds.
Dr Trowers-Lawrence said she is proud to be able to transition from GSAT, the format for which was multiple choice questions, to PEP comprising different question types.
“I love the idea of being able to allow them [students] to apply the information, not just in schools, but for life,” she tells JIS News.
All of the text books have been endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
The Ability Test for PEP will be held on February 26; the Performance Task Test will be held on March 27 and 28; and the Curriculum Based Test will be done on April 16 and 17.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid (right), accepts copies of Primary Exit Profile practice books from author, Dr Shalette Ashman (centre). At left is state minister in the ministry, Floyd Green.