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More PEP prep - Educators want more preparation for new system

Published:Thursday | June 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

Education Minister Ruel Reid has assured principals and teachers that it's all systems go for the implementation of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) by September and that everything will be in place for the new school year.

But Reid's affirmation was not sufficient as teachers raised questions about the time that they have to get more familiar with the new material, telling the minister that they were uncomfortable with PEP because they needed more training.

"We support the ministry's decision in regards of GSAT and PEP, but as teachers, we are not comfortable. I think more time is needed in training before it [PEP] is implemented in the new school year," a teacher stated during a meeting with educators hosted by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston yesterday.

In response, Chief Education Officer Dr Grace McLean said that grade six teachers were already taking part in ongoing training and that further training would be undertaken with grade four and five teachers.

In addressing the gathering, Reid argued that over time, the ministry had developed an admirable track record of administering examinations and delivering the results on time, and that PEP would be no exception.

"PEP is based on the fundamental principles of our students using critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and their creativity during the teaching, learning, and assessment process," he said.

"When we look at the performance of our students who sat GSAT and completed the CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) examination in 2017, the results show that less than half of the students attain acceptable grades at CSEC compared to the GSAT results.

"It shows that the ministry had to take a decision to change the approach that is being used to prepare our students for the end-of-secondary examinations," Reid stated.