JIS: The Government is maintaining its position that the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) is a viable alternative to the previous high-school-placement examination.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in touting PEP, said it is part of the creation of “a new type of Jamaica where persons apply critical thinking, and the process of investigation and discovery is used in the solution to problems”.
The PEP has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and has been used to place students in high schools for the 2019/20 academic year.
“Life chances are no longer being determined by grades achieved in two days of examination to determine your fate,” Mr. Holness said while addressing the presentation ceremony for the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education, at Jamaica House on Wednesday (June 26).
He said that the goals of PEP are especially important “amid the rapid societal changes” where the Government’s approaches, programmes and areas of emphasis must keep pace to be relevant to contemporary society and to the future.
“This involves creating an encouraging and nurturing environment which allows for creativity and for the enquiring and curious mind to explore new ways of doing familiar things. It involves transforming persons from being consumers of technology to being creators of technology. It requires innovation and out-of-the-box solution-oriented thinking,” Mr. Holness said.
In this regard, the Prime Minister assured that the Administration is continuing to re-engineer the education system, “so that every single child gets access to the best educational opportunities to fulfil their potential and ensure that Jamaica can grow and be a prosperous country”.
“I am happy that more students than ever have access to better equipped and better resourced classrooms. I am confident that with our increased focus on early childhood and helping institutions to raise their standards of operations, we are laying a stronger foundation for future generations to excel,” he said.
For his part, Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, said that while the vast majority of teachers are supportive of PEP, he is aware that concerns remain, and assured that the Ministry is doing everything to address these matters.
“We are confident that PEP is building a framework that will enable students to think critically, strengthen their ability to reason, build their comprehension and develop their problem-solving skills,” he said.
Mr. Samuda added that teachers have played a critical role in the successful roll-out of PEP.
The PEP examination is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.
The first cohort of grade-six students sat the PEP exam this year. They were tested in three stages with a Performance Task Test on March 27 and 28, an Ability Test on February 26 and a Curriculum Based Test on April 16 and 17.
CAPTION: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, addresses attendees at the presentation ceremony for the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education, at Jamaica House, on Wednesday (June 26).