Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for East Central St. James, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, distributed approximately 1,200 Grade 4 workbooks to students of sixteen (16) primary and all-age schools across eastern St. James on Tuesday (September 15).
The Grade 4 workbooks, which were made available to the students by the East Central St. James Education Council at a cost of $1.5 million, were part of a renewed focus by the Council to ensure that schools in the area achieve 100 per cent mastery in literacy and numeracy.
In presenting the workbooks to students, Mr. Bartlett noted that the objective was to ensure that ‘every child in Grade 4 in all schools in the constituency’ has full access to the books, which were designed to enhance their successes in the GSAT examinations.
“Last year I was a bit embarrassed at the performance of our Grade 4 students in the GSAT Examinations, and the Council resolved to aim at 100 per cent mastery in numeracy and literacy in East Central St. James. We had previously spent a lot on the students by providing all five required workbooks, so that every child in all Grade Six had full access to the books, and the results were very encouraging,” he stated.
Member of Parliament and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, (left) speaking to Grade 4 students at the Goodwill All-Age and Infant School, St. James after presenting them with workbooks during a ceremony at the school on Wednesday (September 15).
“We have learnt, therefore, that when the students are given the necessary resources, they perform at their best. So the emphasis now being placed on Grade 4 is our priority, because I am convinced that if we get it right at Grade 4, then we will have it right at Grade 6,” Mr. Bartlett pointed out.
Principal of the Goodwill All-Age and Infant School in Eastern St. James, Charles Stewart, told JIS News that the presentation of the Grade 4 workbooks meant much to his school, generally, and in particular to the students of Grade 4 who were in the process of preparing for the next examinations.
“With the students now gaining access to these important workbooks, they are now better able to do the work that is required of them,” he said.
He explained that, in the past when they had no workbooks, the school had to find the resources to copy the material to supply students.
“Now that these workbooks have been made available by Mr. Bartlett and the East Central Education Council, I am sure that their performance in the exams will be better. I am also hoping that more of the parents will lend their support now and cooperate with us, so that the overall results will see great improvement”, Mr. Stewart told JIS News.