Educational Expo Held in St. Thomas to Promote Literacy


An Educational Exposition, aimed at highlighting the use of teaching aids to promote numeracy and literacy in Primary and All-age Schools in St. Thomas, was held yesterday (May 19) at the Yallahs Primary School in the parish.
The event, which was organised by the Western St. Thomas Principals’ Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, was held under the theme, ‘Promoting, Developing, Sustaining a Rich Literacy Programme in Schools in Western St. Thomas’.
Hundreds of students and their teachers from 21 primary and all-age schools in Western St. Thomas and East Rural St. Andrew participated in the event.
Displays were mounted with themes, such as ‘Our National Heritage’, ‘Keep Jamaica Beautiful’, ‘How our Actions Affect the Environment’, and ‘Deforestation’. Also participating were the St. Thomas Fire Department, the St. Thomas Parish Library, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and bookstores in the parish.
Marion Harrison, teacher at Easington Primary School in the parish, told JIS News that students with guidance from their teachers assisted in developing the displays under the theme ‘How our Actions Affect the Environment’. She said the students could relate to this topic because they lived in a watershed community and it was very important that they be aware of the “dangers of cutting down trees and disposing of waste materials in rivers”.
“If we let the children be aware of the danger of cutting down trees, they will be able to take home the message to their parents and others, to urge them to desist,” she said.
Education Officer for the area, Molly Jacas told JIS News that the purpose of the event was to share “the creativity and ideas that are out there”. She pointed out that the displays, which were developed around specific themes taken from the school’s curricula, were done by teachers using local and recycled materials. “I think they are doing very well,” she said, noting that the teachers were able to integrate literacy in the Social Studies, Mathematics and Language Arts displays. The Education Officer said the Ministry of Education was trying to address the poor performance of some students in schools and “to find out all of the things that have been preventing students from learning optimally, and as far as possible lend the support to the schools and community to address these problems”.
She noted that poor nutrition, activities in the homes and communities, and lack of support from parents with homework were some of the problems affecting many students.

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