Education Ministry to Deploy ‘Specialist Model’ Experts to 35 Primary Schools

Story Highlights

  • In order to better prepare students for high school, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be assigning experts to 35 primary schools, under a pilot programme titled the ‘Specialist Model’, to assist youngsters experiencing numeracy and literacy challenges to overcome these.
  • This was announced by the Ministry’s Region One Education Services Director, Dr. Kasan Troupe, who indicated that the initiative will be rolled at the start of the 2018/19 academic year, in September.
  • She was speaking at the launch of and stakeholder meeting for Quality Education Circle (QEC) 8 at Duhaney Park Gospel Assembly in St. Andrew on Friday (May 4), under the theme ‘Creating Tomorrow Together’.

In order to better prepare students for high school, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be assigning experts to 35 primary schools, under a pilot programme titled the ‘Specialist Model’, to assist youngsters experiencing numeracy and literacy challenges to overcome these.

This was announced by the Ministry’s Region One Education Services Director, Dr. Kasan Troupe, who indicated that the initiative will be rolled at the start of the 2018/19 academic year, in September.

She was speaking at the launch of and stakeholder meeting for Quality Education Circle (QEC) 8 at Duhaney Park Gospel Assembly in St. Andrew on Friday (May 4), under the theme ‘Creating Tomorrow Together’.

Dr. Troupe said the specialist model programme aims to ensure that student outturns for the Ministry’s numeracy and literacy targets are improved, and that youngsters entering high schools are better equipped and prepared to manage secondary curriculums.

She said the project’s implementation was promoted by high school administrators’ concerns about the low levels of mastery in numeracy and literacy recorded by some students leaving Grade Six.

“They (high schools) are complaining (about) the quality that they are getting (and that) they (some primary schools students) are not ready for high schools. When we (Ministry) look at the (literacy and) numeracy (scores), we (too) are concerned. (So) we are fixing it from the early stage… (by deploying the) specialists… into our (primary) schools,” she stated.

Additionally, Dr. Troupe said the Ministry is targeting a reduction in the student-teacher classroom ratio as a response to the issue.

“Gone are the days, where we gave teachers a 1:35 ratio. We are now saying that for every 25 students, you are entitled to an additional teacher (and) we are ready to provide that kind of resource to the system,” she said.

The Regional Director also advised that the Ministry will be focusing more on implementing co-teaching in primary schools, to enable more students to get individual attention.

“When you look at the countries that are doing well, (such as) Singapore (and) Finland, (their) schools have the culture of co-teaching. So we want to change our culture… (and) we are open to co-teaching,” Dr. Troupe said.

QEC concept, which was introduced in 2009 under the Ministry’s aegis, aims to mobilize wide-scale stakeholder participation in the thrust to drive improvements in schools.

It entails diverse groups of school administrators creating a learning circle for professionals in education from different levels of the academic system (early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary) within a particular constituency or geographic zone.

Through this concept, educators and other stakeholders meet to: share best practices, discuss challenges, propose solutions, assess progress made and celebrate resulting achievements.

QEC 8 comprises 15 schools from the two constituencies, west central and western St. Andrew.

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