A total of 1,000 primary school students are set to benefit from a summer programme organised to raise the educational achievement levels of under-performing students at the Grade Three level.
The programme dubbed, Camp Summer Plus 2012, will commence on July 9 and end on August 10, and will be delivered at seven locations in three education regions across the island.
It is being organised through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Education and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Jamaica Basic Education Project.
Classes will be held in Region One at the Queens High School and Shortwood Teachers’ College; in Region Four, Petersfield High School and Irwin High School; and in Region Six, Innswood High School, Charlemont High School, and Vere Technical High School.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, today (July 6), at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said the programme is part of the Government’s mission to improve the quality of education in Jamaica.
“This is a most important intervention… (as) there is international probative material to indicate that children can regress as much as a grade during the summer months if they are not stimulated with various programmes,” he pointed out.
The Minister argued that the intervention with a wholesome, healthy and entertaining summer camp programme is a step in the right direction.
Rev. Thwaites said he hoped that other stakeholders, such as churches and members of the private sector, would imitate the efforts of Camp Summer Plus 2012, by offering similar interventions in other areas of the island.
Mission Director, USAID Jamaica, Denise Herbol, for her part, noted that the camp aims to boost gains in early grade reading among at-risk Grade three students, through a rigorous academic programme and an array of enrichment activities during the summer holidays.
She said USAID/Jamaica is confident that the project will be beneficial to the students as it has all major components for success, such as individualised instruction, and parental involvement.
Miss Herbol pointed out that the initiative is another important intervention to assist in the development of children in Jamaica’s primary education system.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS reporter