Ministry Sticking to Dates for GSAT


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture is sticking to its March 16 and 17 dates for the sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), as the Ministry is unable to defer the examinations further, as there would be consequences in relation to the placement of students.
This was emphasized by the Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry Wilson in the House of Representatives yesterday (October 5), during her presentation on the status of the recovery of the education system, some four weeks after Hurricane Ivan hit the island.
“Unfortunately, after giving it very great consideration, it will not be possible for us to defer the date of the GSAT examinations,” Mrs. Henry Wilson stated, explaining that pushing back the date would have posed a problem for the rest of the education programme, such as the CXC examinations.
Recognising that there would be some issues related to students who would be taking the GSAT examinations, Mrs. Henry Wilson said the Ministry was arranging a series of parent teacher meetings by school clusters, to discuss how all parties could work together to ensure that the children were not placed at a disadvantage.
“As Minister, I will be participating in many of those meetings. In addition, we are speaking with our partners in education to see how we may be able to get guidance and counselling sessions for many of our teachers who themselves have been traumatized by the onslaught of Ivan,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
She assured that the Ministry was working at the fastest pace possible to return educational institutions to normality, noting that emphasis was being placed on the urgency of timely repairs.
The Ministry would also be examining attendance records of a number of schools that have reported a fall-off in attendance, which Mrs. Henry Wilson said could be due to the fact that many students’ lives were disrupted as a result of the damage to or destruction of their homes.
She pointed out that many schools had already decided how they would make up for lost time and that discussions still had to be held with some schools, where classes were being held half-day.

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