National Standards Curriculum Promotes Inclusive Learning – Morris

Story Highlights

  • Director of the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Floyd Morris, is hailing the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) being implemented in primary schools, noting that it promotes inclusive education.
  • “Some of the… negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities is because we isolate, in the main, persons with disabilities from the education system, and we confine them to special education mechanisms… I appreciate this current approach in terms of the National Standards Curriculum because it is focusing on the learning needs of our children,” he added.

Director of the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Floyd Morris, is hailing the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) being implemented in primary schools, noting that it promotes inclusive education.

He said it will ensure greater focus on students with disabilities.

“Some of the… negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities is because we isolate, in the main, persons with disabilities from the education system, and we confine them to special education mechanisms… I appreciate this current approach in terms of the National Standards Curriculum because it is focusing on the learning needs of our children,” he added.

Mr. Morris was addressing the recently concluded Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) education conference at the Royalton Negril Resort and Spa in Trelawny, held under the theme ‘Improving 21st century learning outcomes through curriculum design and implementation: Unlocking the National Standards Curriculum’.

The NSC aims to enhance the quality of education offered to learners and improve the general academic performance, attitude and behaviour of students, which will redound to the positive shaping of the national social and economic fabric.

Under the new system, emphasis is being placed on project-based and problem-solving learning, with science, technology, engineering and mathematics/science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEM/STEAM) integrated at all levels.

Mr. Morris said he supports the focus of the NSC as it prepares students to deal with challenges in a globalised world.

He said the curriculum, which is learner-centered and emphasises problem-solving skills, will help to realise the mantra of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Education that ‘every child can learn… every child must learn’.

He pointed out that the true success of the NSC will be highly dependent on the creativity of educators.

He argued that effective delivery will involve identifying new strategies to engage students at all levels and in every aspect of their lives.

“If we are going to focus on the individual learner and if we are going to be moving towards problem-solving in our education system, so that our students can deal with the global opportunities, we need creativity,” he outlined.

Mr. Morris noted that strategies such as the integration of sports will have to be used to engage students in a fun and comfortable environment.

“When we put our boys on the football field, we teach them about circles, squares, quadratic equation and angles, because that is how the football field is designed,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Mr. Morris encouraged the teachers to forge partnerships with other institutions and individuals to facilitate the smooth delivery of the curriculum. He also committed to assisting the association in ensuring the successful implementation of the NSC.

“I want to extend from my office… (the) facility to assist in any research surrounding issues relating to students with disabilities in the classroom, so that it can assist you in terms of executing and implementing the NSC,” he said.

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