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Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says students are showing signs of improvement since the implementation of the new model that will prepare them for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP).

“What we are seeing is… since the curriculum now calls for that individualised attention, a lot of our children are doing a lot better. A lot of our children are now more engaged, especially because it calls for that sort of hands-on approach to learning,” he said.

Mr. Green was speaking at The Mico University College Care Centre’s 7th Biennial Education Conference at Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Thursday (October 11).

PEP, which has replaced GSAT as the national secondary-school entrance examination, is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education. It comprises a Performance Task, Ability Task and a Curriculum-Based Test.

Grade-six students will sit the Performance Task aspect of PEP in March 2019, while the Ability Test and Curriculum-Based Test components will be conducted in February 2019 and April 2019, respectively.

The PEP grades will be made available to schools in the third week of June every year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Green assured that children with special needs will be adequately accommodated for the assessment.

He noted that “all the systems that we had in place to cater to them for [the Grade Six Achievement Test] GSAT, will be in place to cater to them in relation to PEP”.

“We have systems that will give our exams in braille for children who can’t see. Our children who have difficulty in relation to speech, we have persons that we provide to work with them for the exam. For those who can’t speak English, we provide translators, things of that nature, so our children with disability will not be disadvantaged in relation to our PEP,” he said.

During the last sitting of GSAT, 315 students with special needs were registered to do the examination – 166 in region one; 13 in region two; four in region three; 20 in region four; 33 in region five; and 79 in region six.