Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Some 12,000 teachers have already been trained to deliver lessons from the new National Standards Curriculum in five grades starting this academic year.
  • Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean, said this training is critical, as the rollout of the new curriculum for grades one and four at the primary level and seven to nine at the secondary level will have implications for assessments to be introduced in another two to three years.
  • Under the new system, emphasis will be 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.

Some 12,000 teachers have already been trained to deliver lessons from the new National Standards Curriculum in five grades starting this academic year. Training started at the beginning of August and will continue into September.

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean, said this training is critical, as the rollout of the new curriculum for grades one and four at the primary level and seven to nine at the secondary level will have implications for assessments to be introduced in another two to three years.

She was speaking in a Jamaica Information Service Special Back-to-School forum held recently.

Dr. McLean said there is now particular focus on the provision of resources to support the curriculum and ensuring that teachers are putting together unit plans according to requirements.

Under the new system, emphasis will be 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.

The approaches will allow the learners to have hands-on experience that is similar to real-world situations, making the learning experience less abstract and more concrete.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has indicated that the early disbursement of tuition support funds to secondary schools this year has led to them being far advanced in their preparations for the start of the new school year.

In June, the Ministry handed over $1.4 billion to all high schools as the first of four tranches of payments for the 2016/17 academic year, ahead of the traditional August date.

Senator Reid said the Government has taken all the necessary actions to have the education system ready for the start of the school year on Monday, September 5.

“We have had a number of preparatory meetings with a number of team leaders to look at different aspects of what needs to happen in terms of curriculum change, the infrastructure programme, school furniture, (and so on), and teams are on task to facilitate some of the schools that have the resources to do their own procurement and repairs,” he said.

He noted that rental books and material for primary schools have been procured and are being delivered as scheduled this week. Necessary appointments of principals and other senior staff have also been carried out, Senator Reid added.

Furniture distribution will continue into September and the Ministry is also working closely with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to ensure that areas that may pose challenges to safety are monitored closely and that communities are engaged to prevent incidence of roadblocks when schools reopen.

President of the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ), Everton Hannam, urged parents to be prepared for the new school year by being alert to health threats, as well as the potential occurrence of storms and hurricanes during this season.

He further encouraged parents to be cautious when sending children out to school, particularly as it relates to transportation and route used.

Mr. Hannam said parents should also take note of the list of core textbooks provided by the Ministry and take advantage of avenues to ease the financial burden of purchases, through the use of second-hand books and participation in book-exchange programmes.