Minister says all in place for PEP Ability Test

EDUCATION Minister Fayval Williams says all is in place for the Grade Six Ability Test component of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), which will be held on Wednesday, May 26.

A total of 37,179 students have been registered to sit the examination.

“We would like our students to know that the ministry has made all accommodations for them in order to have a safe and successful sitting of the exam. We have made special accommodations for our special needs students as well,” Williams told yesterday’s virtual post-Cabinet press briefing from Jamaica House.

Special accommodations refer to support that is needed for students who have been deemed to have special needs as outlined in a psycho-educational evaluation report and approved by the Special Education Unit of the ministry. These include but are not limited to: extra time; assignment of a reader, writer, prompter or shadow for the student; preferential seating in the examination centre, and allowance for breaks during the examination.

Williams said a total of 320 students who submitted psycho-evaluation reports were evaluated by the Special Education Unit, and of this amount 290 have received accommodations.

She said five applicants will also receive linguistic aide, “in terms of their native language versus the English, in which the exam is written”.

The minister said the Ability Test will be presided over by contracted persons who are external to the schools. “We have been training our presiding examiners and invigilators. We have been recruiting monitors and we believe all is ready for next week Wednesday for the exam,” she said.

At the same time, Minister Williams pointed out that the ministry will be extending its support for transportation on the day of the examination for students who will require assistance.

She said parents/students in need of transportation support are required to complete an electronic transportation registration form using the following link: https://transport.moey.gov.jm. Parents and students may can also call 888-SCH-TIME or 888-724-8463 to register for the support if they do not have access to the Internet.

“We would like to know, so that we are able to help you in terms of transportation on the day of the examination,” she said.

Providing tips for the upcoming examinations, she encouraged students to go to bed early on the night before the examination. “Do not study too much [on the night] before examination; just relax,” she said, adding that students should have a healthy breakfast on the morning of the examination.

She emphasised that students are to ensure that they take at least two HB pencils to the examination and a clean eraser.

Williams urged parents to ensure that students get to the examination venues on time, noting that they should be at the examination venue at least one hour before the start of the examination.

She reminded students to direct any queries they have to the presiding examiners/invigilators.

“Do not attempt to get help from anyone in the examination room,” she stressed, and urged parents not to interfere with the examination procedures.

COVID-19 protocols, she said, will be observed at all examination centres.

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