Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Grace McLean says there were few glitches in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) examination, on March 24 and they have all been resolved.
She pointed out that most of the issues were encountered in Region One (Kingston and St. Andrew).
“We had glitches because there were students who were not registered for the exam, who turned up at the centres. We also had students who did not receive any timetable, because when the timetables were printed, they were not certified literate, so there is no record that they are certified,” Mrs. McLean outlined.
The Education Officer was speaking yesterday at a press briefing at the Ministry, Heroes Circle, where she gave an update on the first day’s sitting of the two-day examinations.
Literacy certification is a requirement of the Competence-based Transition policy. Under the policy, students must also meet the age criteria of 10 years and eight months to 13 years, in order to sit the GSAT.
There were also issues of students who had not sat the Grade Four Literacy Test, turning up at examination centres. Additionally, Mrs. McLean said within the last two days leading up to the examination, schools and parents had reported that some students had not received timetables.
Therefore, she informed, students had been allowed to sit the examination on the condition that schools and parents submit the students’ continuous assessment records, as well as their birth certificates by Monday, March 28, to enable the Ministry to conduct its verification. This must be done before the papers for those students can be marked.
Mrs. McLean noted that students from the 2008 GSAT cohort who were not certified literate had been allowed to sit the examination, because the Competence-based Transition Policy did not come into effect until 2009.
“In 2008, the Grade Four Literacy was not national, and because of that, our database is not very clean, because there are a number of schools that did not submit the results,” she explained.
The Chief Education Officer said that due to the issues, some sittings of the examination started late, but arrangements have been made for all the adjustments that were made, to be effected to enable smooth processing at today’s (March 25) sessions.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter