More than thirty-nine thousand students will sit the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) this week in 1090 centres across the island, an increase of 659 candidates over last year. The examinations for Mathematics and Social Studies will be held on Thursday, while Language Arts, Communication Task and Science will be held on Friday.

The number of male students confirmed to sit the examination is 18, 875, while the number of females is 20,254.  Among the candidates sitting the examination are approximately 400 students with special needs for whom the Ministry of Education is providing special accommodation. This includes the provision of additional time, prompters, readers, writers, large print and breaks at intervals.

Chief Education Officer, Dr Grace McLean is reminding administrators that schools are to remain open during the staging of the examination, with closure recommended only if there are severe challenges with space, convenience and suitability of rooms and appropriate seating for the administering of the examination. In such cases school administrators are required to advise the Ministry’s regional office in advance.

Advice to Parents

The Ministry of Education is advising parents of students sitting the GSAT that they are to: 

1. Remain calm and encourage the child to stay calm. 

2. Support, rather than pressure the children/students. 

3. Ensure that children/students go to bed early the night before the exam to ensure a good night’s rest. 

4. Make plans for children/students to have a nutritious breakfast and a snack during the two days of the examination. 

5. Ensure that children/students arrive at the examination centre early. 

6. Ensure children/students gather materials needed for the examination from the previous night to avoid searching for things on the morning of the exam. Searching can cause student/child to become flustered. 

Hotlines

As is customary, in order to ensure quick and easy access to information, the Ministry of Education has set up the telephone hotlines as follows: 

Region 1 – Kingston and St. Andrew 612-5920/612-5918/948-9801 

Region 2 – Portland, St. Thomas and St. Mary 993-5586 

Region 3 – Trelawny and St. Ann 917-7849 

Region 4 – St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland 979-8590 

Region 5 – St. Elizabeth and Manchester 625-7859 

Region 6 – Clarendon and St. Catherine 745-1153/983-1654-5 

Student Assessment Unit 948-9281/922-5680 

Chief Education Officer 948-8715 

Deputy Chief Education Officer 948-9619