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The Ministry of Education has moved to strengthen its thrust to achieve 100 per cent literacy by 2015, by increasing the number of Literacy and Numeracy Coaches available to schools.
This year, the Ministry has a total of 80 Literacy Coaches, which is up from 50, and 70 Numeracy Coaches, up from 45.
In addition, Education Minister, Honourable Andrew Holness, told a press conference on August 27, called to address back- to-school issues, at the Ministry of Education, that the number of literacy specialists would soon be increased to 90.
“The Literacy Coaches are there to offer professional development support to teachers on the job. Many of our teachers at the primary level are not skilled in teaching literacy skills,” he explained. He said the specialists would also help school administrators to properly distribute and monitor resources.
Mr. Holness added that the measures are being introduced in tandem with the Ministry’s Competency Based Transition Policy, instituted this year, which prevents promotion of students until they have attained competency at a particular grade level. Implementation of that policy coincided with the national administration of the Grade Four Literacy Test, which saw 71 per cent of students achieving mastery.
Meanwhile, the Education Minister pointed out that the Ministry would also be focusing its literacy and numeracy thrust at the secondary level.
“It is not just a focus at the primary level, because there are a significant number of students that are not literate but are at the secondary level, and that poses a significant challenge to the quality of education being delivered,” he expounded.

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