Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the results of the diagnostic tests administered to grade-six students to identify and address gaps in the delivery of the National Standards Curriculum, due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19, are being assessed.
She said the results will be made available to the grade-seven teachers as the students transition to secondary school.
The assessments were undertaken in the month of June, following the sitting of the Ability Test component of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination on May 26.
A total of 37,278 students were registered to sit the PEP Ability Test. Of the total, 37,139 sat the test, as there were 139 registered students who were absent. Some 31,479 or 84.4 per cent of the students were placed in one of their preferred schools.
Minister Williams made the disclosure during a statement to the House of Representatives on July 21.
“As students transition to high schools in 2021, the Ministry is cognisant of the fact that no statements are being made of the students’ achievement of the National Standards Curriculum at Grade Six,” she noted.
“In an effort to provide data on students’ achievements in the National Standards Curriculum, the Ministry administered diagnostic tests in the four main subject areas – Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science,” she added.
Minister Williams said the Ministry will also be introducing the National School Learning and Intervention Plan to make up for the learning loss as students advance in the system.
She pointed out that students entering high school will be placed on the Secondary Pathway Programme, which is comprised of three categories. They are Secondary Pathway One, Secondary Pathway Two and Secondary Pathway Three.
Students on Secondary Pathway One are those who are categorised as showing competence and deemed ready to access the content at grade seven; those on Secondary Pathway Two are categorised as on par in achieving the required skill at grade seven. These students are in need of minimum support in accessing content at grade seven, while students on Secondary Pathway Three are those categorised as needing intense ongoing support in accessing the content at grade seven.
Mrs. Williams said students who are on Secondary Pathway Three will undergo a psycho-educational assessment to determine the targeted programme of study they will receive at the secondary level.
The Minister noted that 23,356 students were placed on Pathway One. Of the total, 10,154 were males and 13,202 were females.
Meanwhile, she said the 139 students who were absent from the Ability Test component of the PEP “will be placed, even though they did not show up for the test”.
The changes in the education sector were brought about by restrictions to contain the spike in cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This year’s PEP results comprise the Ability Test component administered as a single test for grade-six students and the combined performance in their grade-four literacy and numeracy tests and the grade-four PEP Performance Task in Mathematics and Language Arts.