Thu | May 28, 2020

Educator urges calm amid PEP textbooks confusion

Published:Wednesday | September 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Dr Grace McLean (left), chief education officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, hands out materials for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) to Doreth Chamber (right), principal of the Hosanna Preparatory School in Montego Bay, St James, during the ministry’s meeting with schools at Jamaica College in St Andrew, recently.

Former senior University of Technology lecturer and curriculum and assessment specialist Michael-Anthony Dobson-Lewis is urging calm amid the confusion around mixed signals received by parents and students on the matter of textbooks for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP).

According to Dobson-Lewis, textbooks and other supporting resources are essential to the success of the National Standard Curriculum, and by extension, the new assessment model, PEP.

"Mixed signals are never good. It is really unfortunate that the textbooks, workbooks, and other supporting resources are not readily available, knowing that PEP was in the making at least five years ago," said Dobson-Lewis.

"Let there be no confusion. The curriculum has not changed. What has changed is the method of assessment, so the (Grade Six Achievement Test - GSAT) books are useful in terms of its content."


Teachers should submit questions


He said that it would be prudent if the Ministry of Education were to ask primary-level school principals to ask their teachers to write items/ questions/tasks, which should be submitted to the ministry through the six regional offices.

"The classroom teachers are the ones implementing the curriculum and preparing the students for PEP, and so this particular activity is necessary," said Dobson-Lewis.

He further stated that officers at the Students' Assessment Unit, the Core Curriculum Unit, and local consultants would then vet and revise the items, effectively creating an item bank.

"I say to the public, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders, let there be no confusion and unnecessary fear or anxiety among you. PEP, a step up on GSAT, and a fairer model of assessment for transitioning our students from the primary level to the secondary level, is here, and it will be worth it all in the long run," Dobson-Lewis said.