KINGSTON, Jamaica - A joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament will pay tribute to Nelson Mandela in a special session on Friday, December 13.
This will follow the five-day period of official mourning, which was announced by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday. The period of mourning began today and will end ...more »
The Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which is used to test Grade 6 pupils' intellectual abilities, has some shortfalls. For instance, it is a one-shot examination. What this means is that a child's success depends solely on what he does in the test. Another flaw is that there is no provision for a resit for those who may have performed badly in the test. Furthermore, GSAT is not predicated on the principle of multiple intelligence since it has no place for the child who may not be linguistically and mathematically inclined but is artistically and sports-inclined.
In view of the weaknesses, I recommend that GSAT be given an Internal Assessment component which involves candidates doing and submitting projects. Such projects may be based on art, craft, musical composition, drama, debate, care for the environment, physical education, etc.
It is also recommended that the Ministry of Education set and organise a GSAT resit examination so that a child who does not do well in the March exam may have the opportunity to do a resit in the early part of July. Besides, if a child is unable to do the test in March because of ill health, he can do it in July.
The addition of religious education to the list of the subjects tested would be a welcome development. This is so because our children need religious knowledge for their moral and spiritual growth.
In closing, it is important to state that testing our Grade 6 pupils' academic competence should be done in an atmosphere of fair play, consideration and equity.
Claremont, St Ann
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