JIS News

The Ministry of Education is looking to build at least two more Mico Child Assessment and Research in Education (CARE) centres during the next financial year as part of the process to achieve full literacy at the primary level by 2015.
Portfolio Minister, Andrew Holness, who was addressing the official opening of the St. Ann Mico CARE Centre in St. Ann’s Bay on Thursday, November 5, said that the Ministry will continue to partner with the Mico University College CARE Foundation in building more facilities across the island.
“We might not be able to get up, in short order, to one in every parish but we certainly should start by looking at least two – one in Montego Bay and certainly one in St. Catherine,” he said.
Highlighting efforts being undertaken to achieve full literacy in students leaving primary school, the Minister cited the establishment of Enrichment Centres, equipped with a variety of learning aids, in institutions across the island.
The intention is to have these facilities in every primary school within the next five years. “Already, we have launched 16 such Enrichment Centres in Jamaica. We are now on a programme to engage the private sector to support this initiative,” he stated.
In addition, a policy called ‘Pathways to Literacy’ is being developed, “which will provide guidelines for principals and school boards as to how to manage the resources that you have to assist in this most important fight for literacy.”
“Within that policy document will be directives as to how to treat with students, who are learning slower than the general education pace,” the Minister noted.
He lauded the work of the Mico CARE Foundation in establishing centres, which assess and treat children, who have learning difficulties, and urged that the institution, “continue on a path that is most positive to the success of the education system in Jamaica.”
The Mico CARE centres diagnose and provide remediation for children, who have learning problems; provide clinical practice for student teachers’ training in special education; foster and facilitate research in special education; identify and offer guidance to gifted and talented children; and also organises public education session on special needs children.
In addition to providing assessment services and intervention programmes the centres also offer training workshops for teachers, guidance counsellors, principals and parents, focusing on new techniques and remedial strategies to be employed in coping with the challenges of children with special needs in the classroom and at home.

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