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JIS News

Senior Officer in the Student Assessment Unit of the Ministry of Education, Sharon Neil, is encouraging all parents to have their children registered in a primary level school before August 25, so that they can be in the national orientation programme.
“The Ministry of Education is encouraging all parents to have their children registered in a primary level school before August 25. We want all children to come to school during that week to participate in the national orientation programme”, she emphasised during an interview with the JIS News, on Thursday (Aug. 21).
The national orientation programme will include the Grade One Individual Learning Profile assessment and a number of other activities and information to help students adjust to their new surroundings.
“We have planned, along with the teachers and the regional officers, an exciting programme for them. It is designed to give the teachers information about the students, which will be shared with the parents at a later date and the children will benefit by learning, before the beginning of school, important information about their school, that will help them in their transition, and the degree to which they feel comfortable in their new environment,” Mrs. Neil explained.
According to the Senior Officer in the Student Assessment Unit, the results will inform the teachers’ plans.
“What we expect will happen is that the information will be used by the teachers to plan, and then the teachers, parents, and the Ministry of Education, will be able to determine what progress the child has been making, based on those skills that he/she was identified as having at the beginning of Grade One,” she elaborated.
“The impact, later on, will happen because the teachers are guiding the learning process based on the needs identified at Grade One and therefore, we expect that this will help the teacher to ensure that, as the child moves through the school system, that his performance will be in keeping with, or an improvement on what he came in with at Grade One,” Mrs. Neil outlined.
She also reiterated that all Grade One students are expected to take the assessment, and that provisions are made for absent students to complete it.
“All Grade One students are expected to take the test, and we have made provisions for all of them to do it. We have included the private or independent schools. We appreciate that there may be some students who may be absent, but we have advised teachers on how to deal with this. They can administer the test when the child comes to school because it is important for them to have that information”, she noted.
The Grade One Individual Learning Profile, is expected to commence each day at about 9:00 am and continue until 12 noon.
“We expect that schools will make arrangements, taking into consideration their own unique circumstances. But what we are recommending to schools is that the students come in and do the test over the period, at about 9:00 or 9:30 in the mornings to about 12:30 in the afternoons. But we wouldn’t expect that children would be in a testing situation for all of that time,” Mrs. Neil stated.
She noted that the other activities that form part of the orientation programme, will include “getting to know your school, getting to know your teacher, learning about each other, learning where their classroom is, learning where important features of the school are located, and learning about safety rules”.