BPO Jamaica, September 25, 2019

13 BPO JAMAICA: BPO JAMAICA F LOYD GREEN, minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, says that students entering high school today are far better prepared in the area of critical thinking than ever before. Giving the keynote address at the Gateway Co-operative Credit Union- sponsored Enid Gonzales Primary Exit Profile (PEP) Scholarship Luncheon and Awards Ceremony in Montego Bay, St James, on August 15, Green said that from every conceivable indication, the inaugural staging of the PEP exam was not as bad as “originally feared”. “The PEP was indeed new and indeed different. It is about creating a new type of student. But more importantly, what we had to ask ourselves, while I was at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, was what it is that we want the outcome of our education process to be,” he said. Green, who is a former state minister in that ministry, said, “Is it that you want students that are very good on exams, ... who can swat and just reproduce whatever you give them, or do you want thinkers.” “Do you want people who can solve problems? I can tell you that these students who are now entering into our secondary schools are way better than what we produced before because the reality is that we have started to reshape the approach to education,” he noted. “Education is about training the mind to think differently. It’s about solving problems, to communicate, to collaborate, and that was the basis of our PEP exams,” he said. Green said that it was also important to note that when a student goes to high school now, the teacher will not just have a grade as it relates to assessing that pupil but will have a profile to go by. For the 2018-19 academic year, the PEP replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test as the national secondary-school placement test. The main objective of PEP is to enhance the academic and critical- thinking capabilities and creativity of students by the end of primary-level education. Students entering grade six in September 2018 were the first of the PEP cohorts. There were 37 scholarship recipients and 10 Gateway Bursary awardees who received prizes courtesy of Gateway Co- operative Credit Union. PEP bearing fruit Floyd Green WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2019