Hospital patients among those sitting GSAT
Seven children who are currently patients in hospital, in addition to a child in a juvenile centre, will be among special students who will be sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) today and tomorrow.
Education Minister Ruel Reid revealed that the ministry was working to ensure that every child is given a chance to fulfil his God-given potential. He informed a press conference on Tuesday that a total of 315 students had submitted psych-evaluation reports, which had been reviewed by the ministry's Special Education Unit. The unit recommended that approximately 90 per cent of the students evaluated should be facilitated in sitting the GSAT.
"Telephone calls are being made to the principals so that these students can be properly accommodated. The regional offices have also been informed of the recommendation regarding each student," Reid said.
He further disclosed that Region One (Kingston and St Andrew) would accommodate 166 students with special needs to sit the GSAT, while the remainder would be facilitated across the other regions. Seven students who are currently patients in hospitals will do the test. In addition, six students from across the island will have interpreters in Mandarin, Spanish, and Dutch, the education minister said.
Students well prepared
The minister said that he was comfortable that the students with special needs had received adequate attention and were as equally prepared as those students in the classroom.
"We are making sure that no child is left behind or underserved in these circumstances. I believe we can be very proud of the Jamaican education system. No matter where they are, we have to empower them," Reid declared.
"The students who would be in hospitals, for example, we (ministry officials) would have been with them on an ongoing basis," said Reid. "It is the same thing with regard to the juvenile centres. We recently appointed a new person for the Bustamante Children's Hospital and we had requests for support at the University Hospital (of the West Indies). There are two persons there," he declared.