Education ministry admits to weak PEP mock exam results
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has admitted that the results from the mock exams for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) have revealed that overall, students' level of comprehension and application to the sciences, especially, was generally weak.
Floyd Green, state minister, in responding to questions that were tabled by Opposition Spokesman on Education, Ronald Thwaites, disclosed that of the 37,539 students who sat the examination, 12,003 achieved mastery in language arts and 22,759 nearly met the standard. In mathematics, 1,379 students met the standard, while 17,568 nearly met the standard. For science, 585 students, met the standard, while 14,126 nearly met the standard. Social Studies revealed that 2,861 met the standard, while 19,464 nearly met the standard.
Green said the pilot Performance Task, which was the component the students were tested on, only represents 20 per cent of the total evaluation of the overall PEP examination and cannot be used to assess the students' overall performance.
"The Performance Task only assesses the students' ability to strategically think and to do extended thinking. This means, therefore, that attempts are being made to assess specific parts of the brain to see how students are able to think," said the state minister.
"This was necessary for us to ascertain where the students are in order to provide support to move them to another level. This is to see where students were in relation to strategic and extended thinking."
He noted the weighting of each component: The curriculum based test will be 50 per cent; ability test, 30 per cent; while the performance task is 20 per cent.
Green explained, too, that the scores will be computed using the same approach as was used for the Grade Six Achievement Test and that all schools identified as needing critical support based on the mock assessment are currently receiving the required help.