In a statement this afternoon, the Rev. Mr. Thwaites with strong backing from the PNP Education Commission, said Education Minister Ruel Reid has misled the Jamaican people about the performance of our children in the PEP performance mock exam.
Further, his Ministry has refused to release the detailed results since they became available.
He said after this refusal, the Minister led the nation to believe that over 80% of the students performed satisfactorily and the rest would soon be assisted to catch up. The country now knows that none of that is true.
He said Minister Reid fudged the figures for raw political ends, equating the few who performed satisfactorily with those who did not meet the standard, and now has his ministry officials trying to justify the falsehood.
“How can a "near" pass, be the same as a good pass which, nothing less, is what the students and the nation need?”, Rev Thwaites questioned.
“Because it is the stated and clear principle of the Peoples National Party to end the apartheid in education, and my demand for the detailed break-down of the results in Parliament, the cover-up was exposed. Now we know”, the spokesman said.
The results are dismal with not much more than 25% of children reaching the standards in English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies needed to do well in high school and in later life.
After this, how can we trust anything that Minister Reid tells us about education in the future?
The PNP calls for an urgent national consultation on the state of primary education. In addition, there needs to be a massive retraining of teachers to enable them to redress the bungled way in which the National Standard curriculum has been imposed by the Ministry of Education.
The upcoming examinations in 2019 must be set and invigilated by an independent body of educators to ensure that high standards are maintained and that the form of the examination reflects the incomplete transition from GSAT to PEP. Anything less will visit unfair suffering upon our young people just to help an incompetent minister try to save face.
Education is the most crucial national endeavour and so given the frighteningly bad results of the first roll-out of the PEP and the loss of trust in the Minister, the PNP Education Task Force is ready to be involved in this process.
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