Parents Urged to Support Children Awaiting GSAT Results

Posted on 6/14/2016

The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) is advising parents of children awaiting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) results to be keen in offering support to relieve any tension and anxiety.

A total of 39, 129, primary-level students across the island sat the test over two days in March, the results of which are to be released by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information on Tuesday (June 14).

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Interim Chief Executive Officer, NPSC, André Miller, said that while feelings of anxiety are normal at this time it is important that the children receive support to reduce stress levels.

He said that rather than over-analysing what was done in the examination, parents should focus on rewarding the effort made.

“Parents should really encourage their children to relax and to feel good and to praise themselves for this achievement,” he pointed out.

Mr. Miller noted that it is also a good idea to help children refocus their thoughts through engagement in recreational activities as well as by reminding them of their strengths and capabilities.

“The brain often has a strong negative bias. As such, by reassuring your child of their strengths, this will help them to combat the feelings of doubt about their own abilities,” he told JIS News.

Mr. Miller noted that while there is a lot of pressure for children to be placed in traditional high schools, parents should remind them that many non-traditional institutions have produced “world changers” in several fields, including research, sports, music and politics.

He further advised that youngsters should be encouraged to show gratitude to their teachers and friends, who have given them support.

“This will shift the success indicator from the GSAT examination and help the child to appreciate their primary school journey as an achievement.  Parents should also view this as a good way of nurturing their child’s interpersonal skills by helping them affirm and solidify relationships,” he said.

Coping With Peer Pressure

Meanwhile, the NPSC is reminding parents that they have a responsibility to help their children to successfully transition from primary to secondary school, including learning to cope with the various challenges.

It is during this time, Mr. Miller noted, that children will begin to move into adolescence and have to grapple with the changes in their own body, a new school environment, and increased academic demands.

They may encounter more peer pressure and will begin to align themselves to social groups, and explore various popular social images.

Mr. Miller said it is important that parents visit the school in which their child has been placed and find out about the various academic programmes offered, while also helping the child select activities that match his interest.

“Parents and children should examine educational options available at the school and create a plan that fits the child’s needs, that is, learning styles and career goals,” he advised.

They should also communicate expectations to the child, provide guidance in making important decisions and be knowledgeable about the child’s friends and companions, he noted further.

Source: Jamaica Information Service 

André Miller
be supportive
GSAT Results
Interim Chief Executive Officer
National Parenting Support Commission
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