Sun | May 31, 2020

Pinnock blasts JTA president

Published:Thursday | August 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Fritz Pinnock

Professor Fritz Pinnock, president of the Caribbean Maritime University, has blasted Dr Garth Anderson, the newly installed president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), who has asserted that the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) is set to fail as teachers and students are not ready for full activation in the upcoming school year.

"Now is not the time for us to find comfort zones and only look for fringe benefits for teachers while the students are suffering. I am saying that we need to do better as a country, and I am very disappointed at the statements of the president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association," Pinnock told The Gleaner on Wednesday.

The JTA president suggested that PEP should be gradually phased in and the current assessment tool, the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), should remain in place temporarily. He was giving his presidential address at the JTA's 54th annual conference in Montego Bay, St James, on Monday.

Anderson commented: "The implementation of the PEP element of the National Standards Curriculum is on track to fail. PEP remains a mystery, and teachers, students, and parents are still anxious even after several workshops have been hosted and the publication of newspaper articles, which attempted to allay our fears."




Pinnock believes that the JTA president should have been more responsible in his remarks and he urged Anderson to find a better way to facilitate the switch-over.

He argued, "What the president is coming out and doing is to create some sort of excitement, and I don't like it. For what they are actually doing is holding back the students, and I'm weighing in as an independent voice, as somebody who sits at the other end, at the tertiary (level). Seeing the quality, or the lack thereof, that's coming out, and if they're comfortable with that, they're doing this country a disservice."

PEP will generate a profile for students in a push to analyse their strengths and weaknesses as they enter high school. PEP assessments will be done from grades four to six, with greater emphasis on critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills.