JIS News

Sixty-two secondary and five technical high schools are participating in a three-year programme of intervention aimed at improving the overall performance of students in the Caribbean Secondary Education Council (CSEC) examinations.
The programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Education, Youth & Culture.
Dorrett Campbell, Communications Director at the Ministry, told JIS News that the programme, which was now underway in the selected schools, was primarily focused on English Language and Mathematics and was expected to result in a five per cent increase in performance in the subjects areas at the end of year one.
The aim was to improve Jamaica’s overall position in CSEC passes at the end of the three-year period, she said.
As part of the programme, measures will be put in place to ensure that teachers delivered the set curriculum for each grade level and will explore the use of communication and information technologies to enhance student learning.
“We aim to have some of our best Math and English teachers delivering lessons on CD, DVDs, through cable and distance learning. We have managed to have UTech (University of Technology) and UWI (University of the West Indies) come on board and they are cooperating in the sense that they will facilitate the distance teaching aspect of the programme,” she stated.
Miss Campbell informed further, that special emphasis would be placed on the use of information technologies to enhance students’ learning. Schools were selected based on their performance, particularly, those having at least 40 per cent of the subject entries obtaining Grade 4 in the 2003 examinations.
The selection process also gave consideration to schools entering less than 20 students for the subject, which is approximately 10 per cent of the expected cohort of 200 Grade 11 schools.
The three major components guiding the programme include Special Needs, Training and Teacher Upgrading.The Special Needs component is intended to establish a programme of remedial teaching, provide support for children in difficulty, as well as planned procedures for evaluating student learning. Meanwhile, the training component involves face-to-face school-based assessment, along with action research and student involvement through camps and the use of the Internet.
Teacher upgrading will be carried out through an in-service model and will be delivered using a mix of summer school and evening classes facilitated by the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC).
The programme was developed by a group of technocrats within the Ministry, who will also monitor the process.

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