JIS News

Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has said that the Ministry is moving to address the issues that have arisen in the secondary education sector, due to higher performance in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which has led to increased competition for preferred high school places.
“The Ministry is looking at this situation, and we believe that there are solutions to it. Some of those solutions rest in the Ministry taking certain actions, but it also rests in the society and our parents being willing to give some of our non-traditional schools, a second chance,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference, held at Jamaica House today (June 21), to give an update on the results of the 2010 GSAT, which were released on June 18, Mr. Holness said that, “it is going to become a nightmare for the Ministry of Education to place students, as more students perform above the average.”
Mr. Holness stressed that the Ministry is working in collaboration with its partners, in making non-traditional schools, preferred. “Our policy is successful at the primary school level.we are seeing greater interest from the parents, teachers and the community, and that is resulting in better performances. At the high school level however, we need to sustain that,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that a major problem is that the top 20 preferred schools have among them, a total of 4,720 places, but that some 24,239 parents chose these schools, while the top 10 schools have 2,665 places available, with 15,000 parents choosing these schools as their children’s choice.
“If the limited preferred places remain fixed.what you will be seeing is that a student who would have claimed a place in a preferred school, with a certain grade, cannot do so now with that grade anymore,” he added.