Extra lessons and PEP
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Primary Exit Profile (PEP) replaced GSAT on the premise that the latter did not emphasise critical thinking.
Therefore, PEP was touted as a more innovative method of assessment. Since the objective of PEP is to ensure that students are more exposed to practical concepts, one would not expect the new curriculum to impose the burden of extra lessons. Under the past regime, extra lessons were promoted as a strategy to complete an extensive syllabus. On the other hand, PEP is quite technical and the assessment starts from grade 4.
Because of the technical nature of PEP, most people expect that students will be doing more projects and less extra classes. However, some teachers have introduced extra classes for students in grade 4 and refuse to teach what was covered in these classes, during normal teaching hours. If teachers want to introduce extra lessons and parents are willing to pay, then this is not objectionable. But educators cannot refuse to cover an aspect of the curriculum on the basis that it was already taught in extra classes. Teachers are required to explore all aspects of the curriculum within normal school hours. Those who decline to do so, noting that such topics were already covered in extra classes, are defrauding students and taxpayers.
The Ministry of Education must do an investigation and put a stop to this practice.