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The three-member committee, appointed by the Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry Wilson, to examine the circumstances that led to the delay in the publication of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) results, has concluded that “no evidence of a compromise of the 2006 G-SAT examination process was found”.
Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan, who made the disclosure at yesterday’s (Dec. 4) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, explained that the committee was appointed to “examine the entire examination process and the extent to which the process ensured the security of data; determine any concern that could arise from the leakage of information and determine the reason for the publication of the G-SAT results at the end of June, instead of the accustom time of mid-June”.
The report, he said, concluded that the G-SAT examination process was robust and well designed to retain confidentiality of the examination and that no credible concern could have arisen from leakage of information, since none was identified.
The challenge to find grade seven places in the system for awardees, particularly those in Region 6, was identified as the principal reason for the late publication of the examination results, and this was compounded by the “change management deficiencies related to the digital publication of the results”.
According to the Information Minister, the report concluded that the public information related to the change in publication date was inadequate, although senior officials of the Ministry of Education and Youth knew beforehand that the publication date was programmed for later than usual.
The report noted that while the digital publication of G-SAT results was a welcome and useful improvement, which should be encouraged and strengthened, the “existing timeline for the management of the G-SAT processes requires review since it is exceedingly tight with very little room for error, which is itself at risk to timely processing and publication of results”.
The document also indicated that a shortage of secondary school spaces was a compelling challenge to be met and that there should be an accelerated programme of providing new spaces for secondary school students.
The committee members were Dr. Carlton Samuels, Director of Information Technology at the University of the West Indies; Milton Samuda, Attorney-at-Law and retired Principal, Radley Reid.