JIS News

The second in the current series of public consultations on the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) will take place Wednesday (April 21), at the Jamaica College (JC) Auditorium in Kingston, starting at 5:00 p.m.
The announcement was made by Director of the Education Transformation Programme in the Ministry of Education, Ms. Jean Hastings, during an interview Tuesday (April 20) with JIS News.
She said that the Ministry is now actively involved in presenting the findings of the GSAT Review Committee to stakeholders and the general public and getting reactions from them at the consultations.
“This is all part of what would feed into the revision of the profile of the exam, so the actual consultations are scheduled to take place between April and May”, she explained, while noting that Wednesday’s consultation will be targeting a number of stakeholders, including members of the media.
The GSAT consultations come on the heels of a 2008 review ordered by Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, following public outcry that the exam was too stressful on students.
According to Ms. Hastings, the consultation will follow a presentation and discussion format.
She said that, essentially, a presentation will be done on the proposed profile of GSAT, as well as sharing with the audience some of the findings coming out of the review conducted between 2008 and 2009. Discussions will follow and opinions will be recorded to eventually determine the profile for the revised GSAT.
She also noted that consultations with technical experts will be completed before the final document is presented for Cabinet approval.
Once the Cabinet has approved the document, work will start to implement the revision. The actual changes are not expected within 3-5 years, because the implications coming out of the review will involve a curriculum change for science and social studies, revising the actual exam itself. This will require updating the items or collection of questions that are asked on the paper and training teachers so that they will be able to deliver the revised curriculum.
The third and fourth public consultations will be on Thursday, May 13 at the Ocho Rios High School, St. Ann and Thursday, May 20 at the Port Antonio High School, Portland starting at 5:00 p.m. The first public consultation was held Thursday (April 8) at deCarteret College, Mandeville, Manchester.

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