Thu | Jun 24, 2021

Be careful with GSAT

Published:Wednesday | April 11, 2012 | 12:00 AM

This newspaper has noted the debate over the relevance of the syllabus for the Grade Six the Achievement Test (GSAT) and whether it places too great a stress on 12-year-olds.

We appreciate the concerns and look forward to the outcome of the review being undertaken by the education ministry.

But in the din of the pro- and anti-GSAT sentiments, the most clearly discernible argument is about a shortage of quality secondary schools. Children and their parents are, with GSAT, in a scramble for the limited places in too few high schools of decent quality.

More than a decade ago, the government attempted to address this problem by 'upgrading' junior secondary and all-age schools to high schools. Their quality still lag horrendously. What was accomplished was the lowering of the bar in a chimera of expanded access to secondary education.

No one benefited. The job is still to be done.

We hope that is not what is now to be achieved with the review of the GSAT curriculum or any programme of assessment. Adjustments to GSAT may be necessary, but not an arbitrary lowering of the bar as a fiction of accomplishment.

We must proceed with thought.

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