Special needs students will be accommodated for PEP

Friday, February 15, 2019

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PROVISIONS will be made for students with special needs during the sitting of the new Primary Exit Profile (PEP), beginning on February 26.

The students will be among the first cohort at the Grade-six level who will be sitting the Ability Test component in 1,104 centres across the island.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid said psycho-evaluation reports have been submitted for 304 students, who have been assessed by the Special Education Unit.

“The recommendations, which have been made, have been communicated to approximately 95 per cent of the students. The remaining reports are being prepared to be sent to the (education) regions for the schools. In the interim, telephone calls are being made to the schools to inform the principals ahead of time. The regions have also been informed of the recommendations pertaining to each student,” he said.

The minister was speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Wednesday.

PEP is the series of tests that have replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test as the national secondary school entrance examination.

It is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students' academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.

In addition to the Ability Test, the other components are Performance Task, which will be administered on March 27 and 28; and the Curriculum-based Test on April 16 and 17.

Reid said that for the performance task test, students with special needs will be provided with a writer, as this is the only component in which they are required to write. The other tests require students to shade in responses. He noted, however, that in cases where students are impacted by a physical disability, special accommodation will be made for a writer.

“Students will be granted an extra 30 minutes beyond the allotted two hours to complete their performance tasks, and an extra 20 minutes for other exams, which will range from one hour and 15 minutes for abilities test to one hour and 30 minutes for the curriculum-based test,” he informed.

A total of 41,423 students have been registered to sit the examination this year.

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