Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Sweeping changes coming for education system

Published:Wednesday | February 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines
Floyd Green (right), minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, addressing a press conference at the Overseas Examination Commission in St Andrew yesterday. Also pictured are (from left) Grace McLean, chief education officer; Dean-Roy Bernard, permanent secretary; and Minister of Education Ruel Reid.

A strategic blueprint has been laid out by the Ministry of Education to ensure that all students acquire an occupational degree by age 30, even as the public education system is now being structured to align directly with the newly implemented National Standards Curriculum (NSC).

NSC, which focuses primarily on the development of higher-order thinking skills, was partially implemented in September last year, with plans for full rollout this September.

At a press briefing yesterday, where the ministry gave its one-year overview, Chief Education Oofficer Grace McLean outlined several modifications to existing assessments at the primary and secondary levels.

Among them will be the development of a grade two diagnostic assessment, to replace the one for grade three. The grade one individual learning profile will also be revised.

COMBINED INTO ONE

"The grade four literacy and numeracy assessment will be combined into one, effective June 2019. The Primary Exit Profile (PEP) will replace the GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) in May 2019. At the secondary level, there will be the grade nine diagnostic assessment, which will ensure that students are adequately prepared and coached into the areas in line with their career pathways to move into grades 10 and 11, and also to support the national school-leaving certificate/diploma which each high-school student is provided with," McLean stated.

She also outlined that PEP will incorporate teachings from grade four to give a more fulsome reflection of student performances.

"The examination has three components: the school-based, which will begin in grades four and five, and in grade six, there will be the ability test on students' general abilities and awareness in terms of cultural and international issues. Lastly, there is the Higher Order Test (HOT) based on the grade six curriculum."

McLean further added that all three components will be combined to determine the final grades of the students, which, along with the soon-to-be revised placement mechanism, would determine the matriculation of students to secondary institutions.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com