JIS: The Education Ministry will be engaging teachers and parents in a series of sensitisation sessions, beginning in September, to ensure a seamless implementation of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination.
This was noted by Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace Mclean, during a session with parents at York Castle High School in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, on August 29.
The PEP, which is slated to begin in the September 2018/19 academic year, will replace the 19-year-old Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary school entrance test.
According to Dr. McLean, come September 12, the Ministry will kick-start a teacher sensitisation session to furnish teachers with additional information on PEP as well as clarify any misunderstanding.
Those sessions, which will involve Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator, the Hon. Ruel Reid, will continue until the end of September.
Meanwhile, in a bid to bring parents up to par with PEP, the Ministry will be organising a series of PEP camps starting at the end of September.
Dr. McLean explained that the camps will be held in selected areas across the island on the weekend, and will educate parents on the methodology to be used to guide students in completing PEP-related tasks.
“The setting will be one where you will come with your paper and your pens and your pencils and your computers, and we will have small groups where we will have performance task questions, and ability-type questions,” she said.
“We will have the objectives from the curriculum, we will show you how they are linked and we will give you the opportunity as parents and as teachers to create your own questions, to go through brainstorming sessions, and to understand the approach that you are expected to use to guide your children at home,” Dr. McLean added.
The Chief Education Officer said that on the release of the PEP performance task mock-examination results in the second week of September, the Ministry will commence coaching sessions with teachers who will administer PEP.
She added that there will be full deployment of literacy and numeracy specialists in schools at the start of the 2018/2019 academic year, and the Ministry’s technical education officers will be dispatched to schools that need the additional support, “to ensure that the implementation gets off to a good start”.
In the meantime, Senator Reid encouraged parents to play a role in getting children to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers.
“We cannot take the view now that our children need to be seen and not heard. For them to develop their capacity to think and become problem-solvers, we need to not only listen to them but reason with them. We need to have conversations, we need to discuss issues with them, get their viewpoint, and ask for their suggestion on how they would solve some of the problems that you have,” he told the parents.
CAPTION: Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean (right), responding to questions posed by parents at a sensitisation session held at York Castle High School in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, on Wednesday (August 29). To her right is Regional Director, Region Three, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Sophia Forbes Hall.