Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says there was no fallout in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) results from the state of emergency (SOE) and zones of special operations (ZOSOs).
“Overall, to the credit of our students, parents and teachers, they have demonstrated resilience. We see no trend at all from any of the exam types… that there has been any marked decline in overall performance,” Mr. Reid said at a press conference at the Ministry on Tuesday (June 5) to announce the results of the exam.
“We will have to do some more disaggregation of the data, but from the results I have reported, we see positive movements (overall), separate and apart from Mathematics, where we knew that there was a problem and we had interventions,” he noted.
An SOE is in operation in St. Catherine North, while ZOSOs are in effect in Mount Salem, St. James and Denham Town in West Kingston.
The Education Minister noted that the presence of the security forces in the communities have enabled the schools to focus on teaching and learning.
“Where we have had a state of emergency or zones of special operations, it has actually been positive, because what has happened is that we’ve had more controlled environments, reduction of crime and so on, and the improvement in leadership within our schools,” he said.
“Our teachers track the performance and the progress of our students and they give extra attention and more time to get the students ready,” he added.
The Minister announced that there was improved performance in four of five subject areas in GSAT.
Science was the biggest gainer, moving by 7.9 per cent to 72. 6 per cent from 64.7 per cent last year.
Passes in Communication Task jumped by 5.5 per cent to 81.7 per cent from 76.2 per cent; Social Studies moved by 1.6 per cent to 72. 2 per cent from 70.6 per cent; and Language Arts improved by one per cent to 73.8 per cent from 72.8 per cent.
Passes in Mathematics were 61.2 per cent, representing a 1.2 per cent decline over the 62.4 per cent recorded in 2017.
A total of 39,510 students (19,295 boys and 20,215 girls) were registered to sit GSAT in March, of which 30,789 (80 per cent) of these students were placed in one of their preferred schools.
Seventeen per cent, that is 6,524 students, were placed in secondary level schools that are within proximity of the institutions that they currently attend, and a further 1,438 students were placed manually in secondary-level schools in proximity to the address they submitted.
Source: Jamaica Information Service