Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Smoke Blankets Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT)

Last Friday, March 13 was a day of havoc and panic for many Jamaican students who attend school in the corporate area and St. Catherine. A number of schools including those at the primary level had to close early due to the smoke nuisance from the Riverton City landfill. The confusion which occurred at some schools clearly speaks to the poor leadership of some of our schools, as well as, the unpreparedness of our schools in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake. According to reports from the fire department the fire at the Riverton City dump is expected to take a few more days to extinguish. This would clearly mean that primary school children sitting the annual Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) scheduled for March 19th and 20th, 2015 would be severely impacted.  
All stakeholders in education, as well as the general public need to know what contingency measures are in place in the event that schools are forced to close on the day of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
The public needs to know what accommodation are in place for those students who will likely miss the GSAT examination due to exposure last Friday and are attending to health issue brought on by the contact with the smoke which blanketed most of the corporate area last Friday. We don't want a crisis on our hands; leaders must lead. It should be noted that since this article was written a decision was taken to postpone the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
Wayne Campbell
Twitter @WayneCamo