JIS News

The Ministry of Education is drafting a policy which seeks to regulate the movement of students from the primary level of the school system to the secondary level. The ‘Competence-based Transition Policy’ will be implemented to ensure that all children progressing to the Secondary Level are certified literate.
Under the new policy, pupils must achieve mastery on the Grade Four Literacy Test before they are allowed to sit the Grade Six Achievement Test. This will be a significant departure from the current practice where students flow through the system based on automatic age-grade promotion.
As of June this year, the current cohort of students in Grade Four will sit the Grade Four Literacy Test under examination conditions, similar to the GSAT. Students who achieve mastery on the literacy test will be certified literate and will qualify to sit the GSAT in 2011. However, those who are not successful at their first sitting will have three other opportunities to sit the Test.
The Ministry of Education is strengthening existing mechanisms and is also introducing other measures to support students who are not reading at the desired level. These measures include: targeted interventions to improve the performance of pupils in low performing schools; and the deployment of Literacy Specialists across the system to provide in-service training and support for classroom teachers.
In addition, the Alternative Secondary Education Programme (ASEP) will be introduced, to cater to children who are not certified literate. Initially, these students will be retained in their primary schools for an additional year. They will then be transferred to ASEP Centres at existing secondary schools. A special curriculum is being developed for the special needs of this group.
Starting in the week of January 19, the Ministry will be discussing details of the new policy with principals, school boards, teachers, parents and other stakeholders across the country.

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