State Minister Green Offers Encouraging Words to GSAT Students
State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, spent the initial hour of the first day of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) on Thursday (March 22), offering words of encouragement to 90 students of Hope Valley Experimental School in St. Andrew who will be sitting the last staging of the two-day examination.
Mr. Green, who attended the school’s devotional exercise, told the youngsters that they are very special because not only are they being included in history as being among the last cohort of Jamaicans to sit the annual GSAT but because a student with a disability from a group of 315 special needs students around the island, would be sitting the exam at the school.
“Hope Valley has a wonderful track record of producing wonderful students, but especially our students with disabilities. It became very famous as one of the few schools in Jamaica that could accommodate students at this (Grade Six) level with disabilities. Hope Valley did establish itself and set itself apart for that reason,” the State Minister said.
Mr. Green told JIS News that the Ministry has placed special emphasis on students with disabilities for this year’s GSAT, pointing out that through this “definitive focus… we will be doing a lot across the system to make our schools (better) able to accommodate children with disabilities.” Mr. Green said.
“Fortunately, with the advances in the system now and with the schools putting in the necessary arrangements to accommodate students with disabilities, the (high) population of students with disabilities (in a few schools) has fallen, which we are happy for, because it means they have been spread out across the system,” he added.
Mr. Green further said that in addition to the focus on students with special needs for GSAT, the Ministry has made arrangements for the test to be administered to seven children who are hospitalised; six who speak foreign languages in Mandarin, Spanish and Dutch; and one in a juvenile facility.
A total of 39,093 students has been registered for the 2018 GSAT, of which 18, 996 are males and 20,097 are females.