Jamaica News: Primary schools across the parish of St. Elizabeth are overjoyed at the positive results from the first sitting of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination.
The PEP has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary school entrance test. Its objective is to enhance the academic and critical thinking capabilities as well as the creativity of grade six students who sit the examination.
There were some levels of anxiety towards the examination’s new approaches to testing the nation’s children.
However, following the release of results by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information on Friday (June 21), fears were alleviated as school administrators, students and parents at a number of schools in St. Elizabeth were left elated.
“As you know, PEP is reported differently than how it was done for GSAT, but we are very pleased in what the students did. We feel that it is a good exam and it has given our students the opportunity to shine, which they did,” Principal of Balaclava Primary School, Nichol Jackson, said.
She told JIS News that over 70 students sat the examination and most were placed in their secondary school of choice, which include Manchester High School, St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Belair High School, Westwood High School, Holmwood Technical High School and Maggotty High School.
Ms. Jackson said that based on the performance data, “61 per cent or 43 out of 70 students were ‘proficient’, 29 per cent or 20 out 70 were ‘developing’ and 10 per cent or 7 out of 70 were ‘beginning’.”
“One student said: ‘PEP actually thought me something else. It enlarged my knowledge, it thought me something outside of what I learn in class’. So, the students were allowed to use that critical thinking, their own reasoning and to build on that to find an answer in the exam,” said Ms. Jackson.
One parent, Shannakay Palmer-McLeish, lauded the PEP examination and noted that her daughter’s performance was nothing short of excellent.
“I am proud of what she did. I never doubted her performance but she surprised me, and she got her third choice to Belair High School in Manchester,” said Ms. Palmer-McLeish.
At Schoolfield Primary and Infant, Principal Natalee Roper-Allen noted that it is jubilation all around. She pointed out that the results are an improvement over previous years, with students being placed at Bishop Gibson High, Black River High, Lacovia High and Sydney Pagon Agricultural High School.
Some 15 students sat the PEP examination at the institution.
“Overall, we saw what PEP had brought in terms of the different exams and so we had put in intervention plans where there were more practices, and making sure that they were exposed to several different texts and online practices in terms of research,” Ms. Roper-Allen said.
The students were tested in three stages with an Ability Test on February 26, a Performance Task Test on March 27 and 28 and a Curriculum Based Test on April 16 and 17.
Source: JIS News