It's being reported that there is wide-scale confusion in the Jamaican book industry due to conflicting information regarding the textbooks to be used by students who are preparing for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), a new examination for primary school students making the transition to secondary schools, which has replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), starting this year.
According to the Book Industry Association of Jamaica, parents who recently purchased textbooks for the current academic year are returning them and demanding refunds after being informed by schools that they are no longer being used now that GSAT has been phased out.
Latoya West Blackwood, President of the Association, told RJR News that booksellers have been caught in the middle of a messy situation, facing the wrath of outraged parents, “who are saying ‘how come you guys would have sold us materials that are no longer relevant?’”
The Association is advising its members to direct those parents back to the schools, “because we cannot get involved in that bit of confusion.”
The schools would have been issued with official book lists by the Ministry of Education, she said, and it was on the basis of those lists that the booksellers would gone about renewing their inventories.
Mrs. West Blackwood says the situation requires a clear response from the Education Ministry, and to that end, the Book Industry Association of Jamaica is seeking a meeting with the Education Ministry to get guidance on the matter.