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LETTER OF THE DAY - Reassess GSAT, make resits possible

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM


The Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) which is used to test grade-six pupils' intellectual abilities has, in my view, some shortfalls.

For instance, it is a one-shot examination. What this means is that a child's success depends solely on what he/she does in the test.

Another flaw is that there is no provision for a resit for those who may have performed badly in the test. Furthermore, GSAT is not predicated on the principle of multiple intelligence, since it has no place for the child who may not be linguistically and mathematically inclined but is artistically and sports inclined.

In view of the aforementioned weaknesses, I recommend that GSAT be given an internal assessment component which involves candidates doing and submitting projects. Such projects may be based on art/craft, musical composition, drama, debate, care for the environment, physical education, etc.

It is also recommended that the Ministry of Education set and organise a GSAT resit exam so that a child who does not do well in the March exam may have the opportunity to do a resit in early part of July. Besides, if a child is unable to do the test in March because of ill-health, he/she could do it in July.

The addition of religious education to the list of the subjects tested would be a welcome development. This is so because our children need religious knowledge for their moral and spiritual growth.

In closing, it is important to state that testing our grade-six pupils' academic competence should be done in an atmosphere of fair play, consideration and equity.


Claremont, St Ann