More GSAT Students Get Schools of Their Choice


Some 68 per cent of students, who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in March 2013, have been placed in the schools of their choice.

“There is a welcome increase in the number of students who will be placed in a high school according to the preference that their parents and themselves have made, and a smaller number who are placed according to their location and proximity,” Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites has said.

The Minister was speaking at a press briefing on June 18 at Gordon House, to release the results of the Grade Six Achievement Test.

Rev. Thwaites further informed that a smaller proportion of the students were manually placed, as “none of their preferences can accommodate them, given their scores.”

“This year more students will be placed at five-year high schools than ever before. Previously, there was a high proportion of those taking GSAT who were assigned to Junior High schools and to All Age schools and this year the percentage is significantly higher of those who will go to full high schools,” Mr. Thwaites said.

Of the 42,268 students who sat the examination, 35,957 were placed in High Schools; 3,261 were placed in Technical schools; 1,769 were placed in Primary and Junior High; 40 in All Age schools; 18 in Special Schools and 105 in private institutions.

The 2013 results for Social Studies (62.2 per cent) and Language Arts (63.1 per cent) show a marginal improvement over previous years. While the 2013 results for Mathematics (61.4 per cent), Science (63 per cent) and Communication Task (71.3 per cent ) show a slight decline, there have been steady improvements since 2009.

Rev. Thwaites stressed that extreme care was taken to ensure that the 299 students who were affected by the misprint in the Mathematics paper were not at a disadvantage.

He explained that in order to ensure fairness in the allocation of marks for the students affected, a well researched, robust and valid statistical method was used. He added that this was in keeping with the practice used by international examination bodies to treat with mishaps in examinations.

“I want to indicate that the results hitherto described are still not good enough for us to become complacent. Slightly less than 40 per cent of our students are not at a level where they are going to be able to immediately engage fruitfully in the grade seven curriculum (and) that is of very great concern,” the Minister said.

However, he added that there are significant changes that must take place in all levels of education, particularly in the areas of early preparation, so as to rectify the situation.

A special intervention will be made for students who score grades below 50 per cent through a collaborative effort between the Ministry and the schools.

The GSAT results will be made available to all Primary Schools on Thursday, June 20, 2013. Parents and students are also being reminded to accept their placements and make the best use of the opportunity that is provided in the schools that they are placed.

The Grade Six Achievement Test was administered on March 21 and 22, 2013. The examination was conducted in over 1,000 schools and 43,546 students were eligible to sit the examination.

Contact: Latonya Linton

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