The Ministry of Education is urging schools to make full use of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) subject profiles for each student in order to address challenges at both the primary and secondary levels.
Speaking at a press conference held at Gordon House on Tuesday, June 18, to announce the 2013 GSAT results, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, noted that every student, who sat the test, will get a sheet outlining how they performed in each of the areas in which they were examined.
“What we have found in the past is that the high schools have not necessarily used the information in order to determine the particular challenges and needs of the students they are admitting and, similarly, many of the primary schools have not paid sufficient attention to the profiles of the students leaving them, as they devise strategies to (address) strengths or weaknesses in their particular offering,” he stated.
“We are willing to offer training (at) both levels in order that they can best use the GSAT subject profile. If these are attended to at both levels, and particularly by the entering school…we can expect that much more progress will be noted at the higher levels,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rev. Thwaites disclosed that revision of the GSAT will be completed by June 2013.
He said the new format will provide for “higher order thinking and will include a component of in-school assessment with different weighting for each component.”
“We will begin the piloting of this new primary exit test and it will be implemented by 2016. But, we must test carefully what we are doing in order that it may not be seen as sudden introduction,” Mr. Thwaites said.
Of the 42,268 students, who sat the examination, 35,957 were placed in high schools; 3,261 were placed in technical schools; 1,769 in primary and junior high; 40 in all-age schools; 18 in special schools; and 105 in private institutions.
GSAT was administered on March 21 and 22 in over 1,000 schools, with 43,546 students sitting the examination.
The results showed improvements in passes for Social Studies (62.2 per cent) and Language Arts (63.1 per cent), over previous years.
However, there were slight declines in Mathematics, Science, and Communication Task. This year, 61.4 per cent of students attained mastery in Mathematics, compared to 62 in 2012; while passes in Science are down from 64 per cent last year to 63 per cent this year. For Communication Task, 71.3 per cent of students attained mastery this year, down from 75 per cent in 2012.
The GSAT results will be made available to all primary schools on Thursday, June 20. Parents and students are also being reminded to accept their placements and make the best use of the opportunity that is provided in the schools that they are placed.
Contact: Latonya Linton