JIS News

The Ministry of Education is in the process of selecting 50 cluster-based literacy coordinators, who will work with the regional literacy coordinators in order to raise the level of literacy in schools.Speaking with JIS News, National Literacy Coordinator in the Ministry, Laurel Brent-Harris, explained that the cluster-based coordinators will be deployed to areas where performance has been below standard for a number of years.
“They will have responsibility for working with four or five schools in an area and they will be doing demonstration lessons as well as some amount of coaching with the teachers, to help them develop customized programmes to address their needs,” she outlined.
These personnel, she said, will also work alongside school-based literacy coordinators, who are responsible for ensuring that improvements are implemented in all schools. “These persons [school-based coordinators] would be on the ground to give support to other members of staff, who will use data from students’ performance to develop structured and customized programmes that will help our children in their achievement,” she added.
In the meanwhile, Mrs. Brent-Harris appealed to parents to make every effort to support the activities that are being implemented in the schools and to establish a link between the home and the school.
“You don’t have to be able to read to help your child. You just need to be there to monitor, support, help motivate and to provide the necessary materials when you are asked to do so, as well as to liaise with the school to find out how your child is doing and what you can do to help your child,” she advised.
She further urged parents to take the time out to talk to their children and to find out what is happening at school on a daily basis. “We are saying to our parents, our children are precious and we have an important role to play if we are going to see that they achieve the (required) level of literacy,” Mrs. Brent-Harris noted.
In the meantime, she indicated that the Ministry will be putting in place a number of activities for students, who are performing above grade level in literacy.
“There are a number of children in our schools, who have already attained the desired grade level in literacy and we are putting in place some enrichment programmes because we don’t want them to fall behind. If they are not engaged, then they might eventually start to regress,” she pointed out.
“We are putting in place a number of activities such as providing challenging reading materials, engaging the children in competitions, using them as peer monitors and reading pals, so they can feel that they have a worthwhile contribution to make in helping their classmates who are below par, to come up to grade level,” Mrs. Brent-Harris informed.

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