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76 public schools now having face-to-face classes

KINGSTON, Jamaica— Seventy six out of 129 public schools which were approved for face-to-face teaching and learning have actually started, with the others given until January 18 to fine-tune their preparations for schooling, Minister of Education Fayval Williams said. Williams told the House of Representatives this afternoon that it is expected that more schools will be added to the list as the ministry continues its physical inspections of schools.

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“The focus for this term is the preparation of children for their exit exams — Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, City & Guilds, Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training and the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams,” the minister said.

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Grade six students at the primary level are scheduled to sit the first of three components of the PEP exam — the Ability Test — on February 23.

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Williams said the ministry is aware of the challenges the students face, and so it has strategically scheduled the Ability Test first, as this test is not based on the students having been taught the body of subjects in the National Standards Curriculum.  

“The results of the Ability Test in February will give us a sense of the potential rather than just the academic performance of our children. It will alert us as to what our children are capable of doing so we can adequately prepare them for the Performance Task and the Curriculum based test which are based on the National Standards Curriculum and come later in May 2021,” Williams said.

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She said the ministry will be offering additional special learning interventions and students will be provided with fully-funded access to Edufocal and One on One Educational Service in preparation for PEP and other external exams

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