The Government of Jamaica has decided to introduce a new examination (Primary Exit Profile) for the children who will be moving up to the High School level in the country. This new exam is designed to help children to be more prepared to face life in the modern world, as they will be assessed over 3 years and they will be equipped with more of the skills they will need for operating in the modern world.
Children will be trained to work as a team to solve problems and this is seen as what the society needs. The teachers are saying the skills that the children will develop when they are preparing to enter the High School system, will be the skills they will need to use in every aspect of life.
PEP will help children to develop excellent communication and technological skills, so they will be able to work anywhere in the world after they leave the school system. They will be looking more at what is taking place in their communities and finding ways to solve the problems they see at different places. They will be going on field trips, making assessments and communicating effectively with their teachers and classmates to solve problems.
However, due to the change from a one day test to tests that are done over a 3 year period, teachers will need to be properly trained so they can assess the students when they are not writing everything, but they are communicating as they solve problems.
The tests they will do in grades 3-6 will include Social Studies, Language Arts, Science and Performance task.
PEP is designed to reduce the pressure on children and to prepare them to face life in a better way, instead of just preparing them for one exam at the end of grade 6
There are teachers who are saying they need more time to be prepared to work with the children in this new way. There has been a lot of controversy between the Government and the other stakeholders when it comes on to working out the details about the new exam, and now it seems as though the old exam (GSAT) will continue a little longer.