Education ministry confident PEP will improve student outcomes
WITH ONLY a year left before the Ministry of Education replaces the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) with the much-anticipated Primary Exit Profile (PEP), the preparation for transition is on in earnest, and further details have emerged on how students will be tested, graded and subsequently placed in high schools.
Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid, speaking at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum at the newspaper’s North Street offices in central Kingston last week, said he has interrogated the system and is so far pleased with the progress the ministry has made in preparation for PEP.
He said further training of teachers and school administrators would get under way soon to prepare them for the new dispensation of the Primary School Exit examination, which commences in 2019.
It means that current grade four students will be the first cohort to sit PEP.
Part of the sweeping changes the ministry has disclosed is a shift in the examination period from March to May, and there will be an introduction of short-answer questions to complement multiple-choice questions which are now solely presented to students.
Reid declared: “The change is not just going to be a name ... .
“It is intended for it to be a better preparatory mechanism for students moving into the secondary system to make sure we have better outcomes,” Reid said, adding that the PEP will shift the status quo of students regurgitating to developing critical and creative thinking skills.
Central Branch All-Age School students. Minister of Education Ruel Reid.