Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Still no word on PEP mock exam results

Schools press on despite lack of critical preparation data

Published:Tuesday | July 13, 2021 | 12:11 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Garth Anderson, president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association.

Jamaica Teachers’ Association President Dr Garth Anderson believes students and teachers are in a better position to handle the first component of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), which is scheduled for next month.

Some educators, however, have expressed concerns over the ministry’s inability to release the results of last year’s grade four performance task mock exam. The education ministry had released the grade five results, which received widespread criticisms, as many students performed below the standard.

One principal, who did not want to be identified, told The Gleaner that the school has had little communication from the ministry.

“The grade four performance task mock results are still outstanding. We were expecting this from October,” the principal said.

Another principal, while admitting that it would have been ideal to have the results from the mock exams as they prepare for the sitting, said his school is moving forward.

“I have to trust the ministry, and whatever challenges they are having, even though it might not be communicated to me as a principal, I am of the belief that the ministry is looking out for the best interest of the children,” said Christopher Wright, principal of Holy Family Primary School in Kingston. “However, it would have been important for us to receive them (results), look at them, and see what interventions are needed, but to the best of my knowledge, I think they are doing everything to ensure that we get those results,” he said.

“We would have got the ones for grade five and analysed that. We have put some things in place to make sure that we rectify the gaps. But we don’t need any anxiety at this point, especially among parents, because this will impact the children. Data is important, but we have to trust the ministry.”

Wright also indicated that his school is trying to ensure that students are properly equipped to sit the ability test in February.

Anderson said he was not aware of the teachers’ anxiety over the delay in getting the mock exam results, but noted that he is now more comfortable with the exam.

“I think today we are in a better place than we were months ago. I think much has been done on the part of the Ministry of Education to get the system ready and the teachers ready. Teachers have been availing themselves to whatever training and material, and so it is a work in progress.”

When asked about the grade four results, Education Minister Ruel Reid said a press release was being sent out to address the matter. However, up to press time, this was not forthcoming.

He noted, too, that all was in place for next month’s ability test, which is scheduled for February 26.

The performance task is scheduled for March 27 and 28, while the curriculum-based test is slated for April 16 and 17.

PEP is set to replace the Grade Six Achievement Test, the placement exam for transitioning to high school, this year.