PEP still in step - Terrelonge says all set for second phase of exam this week
There are assurances from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information that the controversy that broke last week surrounding the sacking of portfolio minister Ruel Reid will not affect the administration of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) scheduled for next week.
Newly minted State Minister Alando Terrelonge told The Gleaner Friday that there has been a seamless transition and that he anticipates no fall in the standard of execution following Reid’s shock exit.
Terrelonge said that he met with Karl Samuda – the non-portfolio minister appointed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to assist in the interim – and department heads and that there was consensus that “the education of our children must continue”.
“There is no absolutely no anxiety surrounding the administration of PEP,” the state minister declared.
“From an administrative level, the state minister is here, our permanent secretary is here, our chief education officer is here, and our entire senior team is here. The education ministry works like a well-oiled clock,” he boasted when quizzed on the issue.
A little over 40,000 students at the grade-six level are down to sit the performance task component of language arts and mathematics on March 27 and 28, respectively.
Terrelonge said that he did soundings on the ground at Jessie Ripoll Primary and St George’s Girls’ Primary and Infant schools in Kingston on Thursday and that it appeared that the students were ready for the two-day sitting of PEP.
“In our discussion with one young man, he said, ‘PEP helps me to free my mind. It helps me to think, and it helps me to express myself,’ and that is exactly what the Primary Exit Profile is about,” he said, mentioning that such sentiments are in line with the objectives of the test, which last year replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test.
“Based on the level of enthusiasm that we have seen across the country, we expect the students to do very, very, well,” Terrelonge added.
After this week’s sitting, the grade-six students will sit the curriculum-based component of the exam in April.
Meanwhile, students in grades four and five have PEP exams scheduled for June.