A sum of $92.4 million has been set aside for the Primary Education Support Project, to carry out its activities for this fiscal year.
This is contained in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project aims to contribute to the improved performance, efficiency and equity of the Primary Education system, through theeffective implementation of the Revised Primary Curriculum (RPC) and the national assessment standards in all primaryschools.
It also seeks to provide 5,175 additional primary school places by replacing five schools, extending five and constructing two newschools.
Under the project, up to February, 2013, a revision of the Teachers’ CollegePrimary Curriculum had been completed; the Rationalisation Plan for the Reform of Teacher Education and Strategic Plan for the tertiary sector had been completed; and 34,000 copies of supplementary readers and six assessment-training manuals to support the delivery of the Revised Primary Curriculum, had been distributed to 800 schools.
In addition, 3,000 grades 1-3 teachers, 32 master trainers and 120 literacy specialists had been trained to deliver literacy 1-2-3 programmes in 797 primary and independent schools; an instructional technology programme had been introduced in 69 schools; the services of 90 consultants and 30 goods-contracts had been procured; the Grade Learning Programme had been revised and implemented; and the delivery of Literacy 1-2-3 Materials to 800 schools had been completed.
Further, new standards had been developed for the RPC in Social Studies, Mathematics, Language Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Religious Education and Physical Education at Grades 1-3; the Information Technology rollout in an additional 60 schools had been completed; and the electrical upgrading at Regions 2 to 6 had been completed.
In terms of construction activities, the following All-Age schools have been completed: Gordon Town, Guys Hill, Chester Castle, Mayfield, Bromley and Fruitful Vale; while the following primary schools have been completed: Christiana Leased, Mansfield, Lucea, and Sheffield. The construction of Red Hills Primary is however, 81 per cent complete.
For this fiscal year, it is anticipated that the project will achieve practical completion of Red Hills Primary School; deliver furniture to Red Hills Primary School; and complete final accounts.
The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Education with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank. After several extensions, the project, which originally began in December, 2000, is scheduled to end in January, 2014.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter