JIS News

Story Highlights

  • 76 educators from 31 primary schools benefit from ICT training
  • The aim is to improve curriculum delivery in literacy and numeracy and identify students with special needs
  • Parents are incorporated into the programme to create added motivation to students

Some 76 principals and teachers from 31 primary schools in four education regions are benefiting from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training aimed at improving literacy and numeracy among students.

The training, which got underway on Tuesday, August 27, at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay, is part of Digicel Foundation’s enrichment initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The participants, from regions 3, 4, 5 and 6, are undergoing intensive technology training from qualified experts. The aim is to improve curriculum delivery in literacy and numeracy and identify students with special needs.

At the end of the training, the participating schools will receive enrichment centres or mobile enrichment carts for the implementation of the programme come September.

Special Education Project Coordinator, Dr. Michele Meredith, informed that the enrichment initiative, which was piloted in 2009, has grown over the years.

“We started with just 12 schools and to date, we have some 109 schools that are participating in the initiative.  We anticipate and expect that it will continue to grow because we are focused on improving the literacy performance for students at the primary level,” she stated.

She said that one interesting aspect of the initiative is the fact that parents are incorporated into the programme to create added motivation to students.

“Parents are enriched in that they have the opportunity to come into the programme to see how it is delivered.  They themselves are part of the decision-making process in that the student will not start the programme until the parent consent form is signed. This means then that each parent, having signed the form, is committing to ensuring that the assignments are done, that they attend the parent support meetings and they form parent support groups to ensure that their children progress,” Dr. Meredith noted.

She informed that the principals are being included in the training as it is important to have the input of the school leadership to ensure the success of the programme.

“If the school leadership is not committed to the success of the programme, the teachers will not have the kind of support they need.  The teachers are here because it is important for them to understand that this is a different strategy towards providing intervention for student, who may be struggling at their reading or other academic skills,” Dr. Meredith told JIS News.

The enrichment initiative is an island-wide programme in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of achieving 100 per cent literacy by 2015.

The project is designed to provide ICT and more individualised instruction for students in grades one through to three, who are experiencing difficulty in achieving their grade level in reading.

Digicel Foundation and USAID have invested US$3.7 million in support of the initiative, which involves the provision of computers, software, literacy tools and material.

Already under the initiative, enrichment centres have been established in a number of institutions.



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