Support for low-scoring PEP students
Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda says that students who did not perform up to par in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) will benefit from interventions in grade seven.
“Upon entering high school, the students on Pathways two and three will be assigned to Pathway coaches – a literacy coach, mathematics coach or special education teacher, depending on what the assessment has revealed,” he said.
Minister Samuda was making his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 31.
Of the 40,426 students who sat all papers of PEP, 13,695 or 34 per cent were proficient and/or highly proficient in all subjects.
Students on Pathways two and three demonstrated partial, limited or no evidence of the required competence necessary at the grade level as specified in the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) and will need intensive, targeted or ongoing academic support at grade seven.
Minister Samuda noted that the coaches will guide and provide adequate support in the targeted areas to help the students reach their true potential.
He said that students on Pathway three will undergo a psycho-educational assessment to determine their ability in various areas of cognition as well as their achievement levels in all areas of literacy and numeracy.
“Information from this assessment will be used by the coaches to develop individual intervention plans, which will be used to guide their instruction. These coaches will collaborate with the assigned teachers in planning and developing appropriate curricula for each student,” he noted.
Minister Samuda said that the 2019 PEP results show that a significant number of students are struggling with maths, and consider it to be the most difficult subject.
“By September, we will have close to 100 maths coaches across all regions. Literacy also requires additional work. By September, we expect to have 20 literacy specialists in the system as we continue the efforts to improve student performance in this area,” he said.
A detailed subject report was sent to parents and schools three weeks ago, which provided a profile of performance within each subject area. It also outlined how the student performed in the sub-areas tested in each subject.