After more than six decades of providing educational instruction to thousands of students from across Hanover and adjacent parishes, Lucea Primary School is overcoming the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Principal of the 62-year-old institution, Yazmin Anderson Jackson, says the students and staff have embraced the changes that have transformed the modalities of lessons that are delivered and how stakeholders interact with each other.
Students preparing for the Grade Six Primary Exit Profile (PEP) Ability Test were given an opportunity to have face-to-face classes between February 1, 2021 and March 18, 2021. However, the spike in COVID-19 cases in the parish has forced classes to return online.
Social Studies teacher, grade six, Francena Black, is highly motivated and hopes to pass on her enthusiasm to her students.
Mrs. Black, who is faced with the daily challenges of keeping her students motivated, says being online requires new approaches to lesson delivery.
She has incorporated different modalities to maintain her students’ interest. One such method is through the use of different resource persons to teach subjects in their areas of expertise.
“We find that it really gets them engaged. Having [different resource persons] throughout the day, we find that this makes a great difference,” Mrs. Black says, citing “guest teachers” from the Forestry Department, the Hanover Municipal Corporation and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).
The school, which had its genesis in an old soldier barracks near the seaside, Lucea Primary is currently located in Malcolm Heights, which overlooks the aquamarine waters of Lucea Harbour.
At present, there are more than 625 students on roll and 31 teachers on staff.
Lucea Primary is propelled by the vision of excellence for all. In light of this, programmes are implemented to help students become well rounded. The motto, ‘Soaring High on Integrity’, alludes to that.
Mrs. Anderson Jackson, is proud to note that students have earned scholarships due to their high academic performance.
“Over the years, we have excellent performances at the JCDC festival, winning many gold medals as well as silver medals in dance, music and speech,” she says.
“Students are also involved in sports and have been crowned parish champions in cricket and football,” Mrs. Anderson Jackson notes, pointing out that the school has showcased its talents in Spanish and 4-H competitions and continues to provide these avenues for self-expression and development for its students.
She says that COVID-19 has forced the school to use the Google Suite platform, and “we have been coping quite well”
Despite the challenges of poor Internet connectivity in some areas, loss of electricity occasionally and the lack of devices for some students, Mrs. Anderson Jackson is optimistic that her school community will continue to rise.
“Our highly trained staff goes beyond the call of duty to ensure that students are catered for at all levels and that the school lives up to its mission to provide a system which secures quality holistic education for all students,” she tells JIS News.