Sun | Jan 26, 2020

Parents sit PEP mock test to ease anxiety

Published:Wednesday | January 30, 2019 | 12:18 AM
Carol O’Connor-Clarke, principal, Half-Way Tree Primary.

Carol O’Connor-Clarke admitted that she was anxious when she, along with more than 400 parents, sat a mock Primary Exit Profile (PEP) test recently, but the principal of the Half-Way Tree Primary School believes the initiative was necessary.

O’Connor-Clarke, who is the guardian of a student at the school, said she and the other parents took the test to ease their anxieties about PEP, which has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary school placement exam.

The inaugural PEP examinations begin with the ability test on February 26. The performance task will be sat on March 27 and 28, while the curriculum-based test will be on April 16 and 17.

“It is all about making preparations because you know there is the anxiety. There is a change in the exam, and as a result, it is hard. So we just gave them the test to let them see what it will be [like],” she told The Gleaner.

“They walked with their pencils and we provided the papers,” O’Connor-Clarke said, before adding, “Even those [parents] who did not come [for the exercise] came Monday to ask me for papers.”

Parents of children in grades four, five and six were invited on January 19 to sit the mock test, which was supervised by a representative from the Ministry of Education.

“So it was like going into the exam. You were told that you must read everything before you start answering the question,” said O’Connor-Clarke.

One parent felt, however, that more effort should have been placed in sensitising them about the test.

“I got a little annoyed, because if you are going to do a test, then you must have something that you are testing me on, and nobody does a test and they don’t get a chance to study for it,” she said.

“They expected us to just drop everything we do and then get to school for 8:30 in the morning,” she fumed.

O’Connor-Clarke said she hopes the initiative, which was conceptualised by one of the school’s vice-principals, will be part of the school’s annual calendar going forward.