Town Hall Meetings to be Held about PEP

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Beginning November 13, the Government will convene town hall meetings across the island in preparation for the roll-out of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) in 2019.
  • Scheduled to run until January 21 next year, the meetings will serve to heighten public awareness of the initiative, which is a new assessment of students at the primary level that will replace the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
  • PEP, which will consist of three key components – a Performance Task, an Ability Test and a Curriculum-based Test – is designed to provide a profile of where the student is academically, the student’s strengths and weaknesses, and his or her readiness for grade seven.

Beginning November 13, the Government will convene town hall meetings across the island in preparation for the roll-out of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) in 2019.

Scheduled to run until January 21 next year, the meetings will serve to heighten public awareness of the initiative, which is a new assessment of students at the primary level that will replace the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

This was noted by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, at a post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House on November 1.

He pointed out that this is one of several pre-administrative activities to prepare students, teachers and parents, to allow for a smooth implementation of the programme.

Senator Reid told JIS News that the venues for the meetings are currently being finalised and that further details will be provided shortly.

PEP, which will consist of three key components – a Performance Task, an Ability Test and a Curriculum-based Test – is designed to provide a profile of where the student is academically, the student’s strengths and weaknesses, and his or her readiness for grade seven.

The Minister informed that PEP assessment coordinators are already being sensitised, with their one-week training coming to an end today (November 1).

In addition, leading up to the implementation period, teachers of the targeted cohort are also scheduled to be trained on assessing the 21st century learner, interpreting and scoring rubric, and administering the performance task.

Other preparation activities include cognitive labs and small-scale trials, and national pilots of Performance Tasks for grades four and five.

In the meantime, Minister Reid explained that PEP will be implemented on a phased basis, noting that students who are currently in grade five will be the first PEP cohort.

He noted that PEP will assess students’ knowledge in addition to placing increased emphasis on assessing students’ skills of communication, critical thinking and creativity.

“As the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information seeks to have students staying in school longer (up to grade 13), the provisions of PEP is a forward-thinking approach that will make students better prepared for the workforce. Students will, therefore, be exposed from an early age to critical thinking,” he said.

He said the ultimate goal of this new assessment is that all students will graduate with the equivalent of an associate degree at the end of grade 13.

“PEP’s assessment process will measure students’ performance through demonstration of 21st century skills aligned to the National Standards Curriculum, and generate an academic profile of each student,” the Minister added.

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