- The Ministry of Education plans to introduce an oral examination in English Language by 2016.
- It is intended to test the competence of students in speaking the language.
- Minister Thwaites, in his presentation, implored parents to encourage their children to read aloud to them.
The Ministry of Education plans to introduce an oral examination in English Language by 2016, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has announced.
It is intended to test the competence of students in speaking the language, starting at the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) level up to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.
“So, it’s not a matter just of writing or ticking the right box, you are going to be examined on your ability to speak English and we must not grouse at that. That is an important skill that all of our children must have,” the Education Minister said.
He was addressing the Kensington Primary School’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) General Meeting on November 20, at the school’s location in Greater Portmore, St. Catherine.
Minister Thwaites, in his presentation, implored parents to encourage their children to read aloud to them, even if they are not proficient in reading themselves, so that their children can practice speaking the language.
“You make sure that they borrow a book from the library, a story book. Let them stand up and read to you from the (newspaper)…but let them read to you something, even if you can’t read it, you make sure that they practice,” he urged.
Quoting an article from the Harvard Business Review, Rev. Thwaites pointed out that fluency in English gives a person about at 25 to 30 per cent advantage over everyone else.
“Whatever your job is, if you are fluent in English, you have an advantage. English is the universal language of professionalism. No matter where you are in the world, competence in English is prized,” he said.
Rev. Thwaites further contended that competence in the English language must be one sign of excellence at Kensington Primary and at every other school across the island.