JIS News

Twenty-three primary schools, today (December 4), graduated from the Expanding Educational Horizons (EEH) Project, at a ceremony held at the Hilton Kingston Hotel.
This brings to 62, the total number of schools that have graduated under the project, which is an initiative of the Government and the United States, through the Ministry of Education and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Schools that have graduated, have met the specific performance criteria and will be used as model institutions for neighbouring primary schools. The main standards include acceptable performance in Literacy at the Grade Four level, maintained over two years, with 65 per cent of students at mastery level; and acceptable performance in Mathematics at the Grade Three level, maintained over two years, with 65 per cent at the mastery level.
An additional nine schools are expected to graduate under the four-year project, which ends in September 2009. Previous graduations were held in December 2007, with 17 graduates, and another in June 2008, with 22 schools, all of which achieved the required literacy and numeracy standards to successfully complete the project.
The EEH assists the Ministry of Education to increase literacy and numeracy levels in 71 primary schools across the island, by conducting regular visits to schools, onsite and cluster training of teachers, special attention to low performing schools, and provision of materials, including books and technological aids. Each school previously participated in the former Horizons for Primary Schools Project.
The major components of the project are: literacy; school management; numeracy; educational technology; and gender sensitisation. It seeks to benefit 30,000 students and 2,000 out-of-school youth from six Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) across Jamaica.
Speaking at the ceremony, National Literacy Co-ordinator in the Ministry of Education, Laurell Brent-Harris, lauded the project, and expressed appreciation to the project team and the USAID.
“This project has adopted a holistic approach to advancing knowledge, through its balanced interventions. We have been trail blazers in a number of innovative practices.You have made your impact through gender sensitive approaches and focus on differentiating instructions, through the integration of technology to enhance teaching and learning, through parental and community support for children’s educational advancement, through improving numeracy, literacy and life skills of students, and very importantly, establishing partnerships with Non-Governmental Organisations,” she said.
She explained that the objective of the EEH is that innovative effective practices will flow to other institutions and that the impact will be far-reaching and long-lasting.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Office of Sustainable Development, USAID, Sean Osner, congratulated the schools, pointing out that they had risen to the challenges and achieved the criteria of improved performance in literacy and numeracy.
He encouraged the remaining nine schools that have not yet achieved their targets, to continue to give of their best, and assured that the USAID would continue its support. To the graduated schools, he said: “Your work is to maintain your high standards of achievement and help these remaining nine schools to achieve their best, and join you as graduates.”
The graduating schools are: Allman Town Primary, St. Anne’s Primary, Mount James All Age, Norman Gardens All Age, Mount James All Age, Cavaliers All Age, Maxfield Park Primary, Mount Pleasant All Age, Long Road All Age, Job’s Hill All Age, Rio Bueno All Age, Jack’s River Primary, Lower Buxton All Age, Carmel All Age, Mount Airy All Age, Chester Castle All Age, Fergusson All Age, Ramble All Age, Mizpah All Age, Victoria All Age, White Marl Primary, Tulloch Primary and Aeolus Valley All Age.

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