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JIS News

Director for Region Six in the Ministry of Education, Simon McKenzie, is urging parents to ensure that their children are properly registered, and possess birth certificates that provide their correct names, by the time they are ready to do the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
He said the inability of some parents to produce a copy of their children’s birth certificate, was impacting negatively on the students’ academic life, as they are not able to take up the places they have been offered in secondary institutions, without this important document. He said some students encountered this problem as far as the Grade 9 level, where the Grade 9 Achievement Test (GNAT) is done.
“A number of students did not get their GSAT and GNAT results, because they did not submit their birth certificates. The results are being withheld from them. The schools to which they have been assigned would have a number, but they would not have names,” he informed JIS News.
Mr. McKenzie expressed concern that the process of obtaining the birth certificate sometimes takes months to be completed, during which time the students are not permitted to enter the formal school system.
He bemoaned the fact that although parents have from the date of the child’s birth, until the child is 12 years old, to apply for the birth certificate, many of them wait until the GSAT results are out before they submit an application.
Meanwhile, Community Relations Officer for the Region, Yvette Dennis, said students are placed at a disadvantage when this vital document is not obtained in time, as many students are forced to be out of school for several months.
“We are still releasing results for 2007. Parents are still coming for results from last year,” she pointed out.
Days after the commencement of the new school year, several delinquent parents were observed at the Ministry’s Regional Office, waiting to receive an official statement of their children’s placement at secondary institutions.