Some 43,384 students are scheduled to sit the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) on Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22, in 1,184 centres across the island. The students will be tested on areas of the primary school curriculum, including mathematics, social studies, language arts, science and communication task.
Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Grace McLean, told a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on Thursday, March 7, that all grade six students were registered under the Ministry of Education national registration system, and that students eligible for the GSAT are drawn from this cohort.
An additional 2,716 students have not mastered the Grade Four Literacy test after being given four opportunities. These students are still operating below the required grade level and will be transitioned into an appropriate programme, based on their identified learning needs.
The students sitting the examination, with only a few exceptions, for example those who recently migrated to Jamaica and were not able to sit the Grade Four Literacy Test, would have arrived at this point through implementation of the competence based transition policy, which requires all students to be certified literate in order to be qualified to sit the GSAT.
Mrs. McLean stated that all is in place at the Ministry to administer the highly anticipated examination.
“Timetables have already been dispatched to the students and queries are being processed for less than one per cent of the entrants. Secured examination packages will be sent to the six regional offices, which will then be dispatched to the principals and presiding examiners of schools, prior to the examination. Every precaution has been taken to ensure that the integrity of the examination is guaranteed,” Mrs. McLean said.
Provisions will be made for all special needs students sitting the examination, the Chief Education Officer noted.
Mrs. McLean assured stakeholders that no changes have been made to the format of this year’s examination.
“The revision of GSAT within its current form started about three years ago and hence the process is continuing. Having completed the review, we are doing the new development of the examination itself,” she said.
Schools that will operate as examination centres will be closed on March 21 and 22.
The results of the GSAT are scheduled to be released in June.
Queries about the GSAT can be forwarded to the Ministry of Education through the following contact numbers:
Region 1 – Kingston and St. Andrew – 948-9388
Region 2 – Portland, St. Mary and St. Thomas – 993-5586
Region 3 – Trelawny and St. Ann – 917-7849
Region 4 – St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland – 979-8590
Region 5 – St. Elizabeth and Manchester – 625-7859
Region 6 – Clarendon and St. Catherine – 745-1153
Student Assessment Unit – 948-9801
Deputy Chief Education Officer – 948-9619
Chief Education Officer – 948-8715