Alexis Goffe, psychologist and director of guidance counselling at Campion College, has given his support to a Ministry of Education stance that screening at the grade-one level should be prohibited.
According to Goffe, serious consideration must be taken in focusing on students' holistic development instead of creating additional pressure.
"It has been stark to see some of our students when they come to first form. By the time they get to grade six, they have done almost four screening tests, so they are really burnt out when they get to high school and it is really unfair to them at that age," he told The Gleaner following the Paediatric Association of Jamaica's 19th Biennial International Conference, held Saturday at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
"This is something that I see right across the board because I have worked with many grade sixes and first-formers. I see them at the orientations and the pressure is very evident when they get to first form because of the endless pressure that they go through," he lamented.
Goffe continued: "We have become too focused on one aspect of education rather than the whole person and so there has to be a balance ... ."
He therefore recommended that more be done to help students adapt when they get to the secondary level.