Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says he is confident that the country is better prepared for this year’s sitting of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) and is expecting better results.

            The examination, which is in its second year, got underway this yesterday morning (February 25) with the Ability Test.

            Just over 39,000 students are registered to sit the exams. The second component, the Performance Task, will take place on March 19 and March 20, and the Curriculum Based tests are set for April 23 and April 24.       

            Minister Samuda, who visited Tulloch Primary School in Bog Walk, St. Catherine, to speak with the students ahead of the sitting of the test, indicated that he was pleased with the school’s preparation.

            “If this is an example, if this is a microcosm of the whole, then I’m very confident that we are prepared for it. We have the experience of last year and I’m expecting that this year will be better; not only that the process will be smoother but I expect that the results will be better because we’ve started the coaching.

            “So the children who come out of primary this year, going into the secondary school system, will be more prepared to deal with the challenges that they will be confronting,” he said.

            The Minister assured that students will receive the necessary support to address areas of weaknesses.

            “At whatever level they find themselves based on the assessments when they’re through, we will take it from there. We will coach those who need coaching and provide additional support for those who need more intensive work, so that they all can rise to a level where there is a sense of balance and equity in the system, so they need not worry,” he noted.

            In the meanwhile, Minister Samuda commended the leadership of Tulloch Primary School, noting that the institution is a “perfect example of how a good school should look,” and gave the Ministry’s commitment to addressing certain needs.

            PEP is the series of tests that have replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national high school entrance examination.

            It is designed to sharpen critical thinking skills and is intended to provide a more complete profile of academic performance.

            PEP forms part of the Government’s New National Assessment Programme and will be administered annually in grades four, five and six.