Mon | Sep 21, 2020

Don't worry about books - Education ministry official says GSAT texts can still be used to prepare for PEP

Published:Thursday | September 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
CONTRIBUTED Education, Youth and Information Minister, Ruel Reid (left), presents a copy of the National Standard Curriculum and materials of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) to Naggo Head Primary School student, Rashard Gordon, at a meeting of the Portmore Rotary Club at the Jamaica Employers’ Federation headquarters on Ruthven Road in Kingston on Wednesday. At right is the club’s president, Vicki Hanson.


With concerns being raised islandwide regarding the book list given out at some primary schools, Dean-Roy Bernard, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, said parents need not worry as long as they have not bought the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) workbooks.

Some parents shared that the books they were asked to buy were not relevant for the upcoming Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination, which has replaced the GSAT. However, Bernard said that once the books bought were those sanctioned by the Ministry of Education, they need not worry.

"What we want to assure the public is that the content for the Primary Exit Profile is in no way different from the content from the GSAT, and so the (text)books are not bad books. They are still good books that can be used," said Bernard. "We had given the commitment that we would be issuing the workbooks in short order, and those workbooks are already being distributed. So the difference between the PEP and the GSAT would be in the workbooks not in the subject books. So there is no need for the subject books to be returned."


Good investment


Bernard added: "The subject books are still good books that are going to impact the students' preparation for the PEP, so the parents can rest assured that they have still made a good investment in these books, and those books will help their children with the support of the workbooks."

Bernard said that the PEP is more about critical thinking and problem-solving, hence the difference between the GSAT workbook and the PEP workbook.

"Remember that PEP is more a problem-solving type effort. It is more practice and applications, and, therefore, the critical issue will always be the conversion of the content into practice and into real-life situations," he noted. "Sometimes you will not even have a text to approach a subject matter because we are speaking about live and real-time events."

Bernard said that the right workbooks are essential and important and they are to be made available to all schools and all parents. He urged parents to make an effort to attend the PEP camps that are being held across the island, where they can get all the information they need with regard to the books and other aspects of the PEP examination.