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Don't take GSAT rankings at face value, says primary school principal

Published: Tuesday February 11, 2014 | 4:10 pm Comments 0

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:
One primary school principal is advising Jamaicans not to take data on the performance of schools on the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) at face value but to look at the factors affecting the results.


Principal of Rosseau Primary School in St Andrew, Owen Speid was responding to a Gleaner-commissioned study compiled by Johnson Survey Research.

The data showed that a child who was born in rural Jamaica and attends a public school is more likely to be performing below average on the GSAT than a child living in urban centres and attending private school.

However, Speid says Jamaicans should not simply look at the fact that preparatory schools are performing better than primary schools.

He notes that Primary schools take in a wider cross section of students, many of whom attend classes irregularly and sometimes have nutritional problems.

Speid says primary school teachers have a huge load to carry and require help.

He says some teachers are demotivated when they see the school rankings given the many challenges in the public school system.

Speid was speaking this morning on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM.
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