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Approximately 10,000 students from 80 high schools will benefit from the Grade Seven Intervention Programme (GSIP), which was launched on Tuesday (November 2) by the Core Curriculum Unit of the Ministry of Education, at the Caenwood Auditorium, Kingston.
GSIP, when it kicks off in schools on Monday, November 8, will provide strategic support to Grade Seven students who received cut scores of 33 per cent and below, in this year’s Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Language Arts Exam.
Acting Chief Education Officer in the Core Curriculum Unit at the Ministry, Dr. Mary Campbell, says that the analysis of data obtained from GSAT, indicates that annually many of the students transition into secondary schools ill-prepared to access secondary education and, in an effort to deal with it, the ministry will start the competency based transition policy in 2011.
“The Ministry is well aware of the great challenges faced by schools in which these low performing students are placed each year and, in response to the many calls for help, the Core Curriculum Unit in collaboration with the Regional Offices has crafted this intervention geared, primarily, at supporting these students,” she said.

Project Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Jamaica Basic Education Project, Dr. Jean Beaumont addresses the launch of the Grade Seven Intervention Programme (GSIP) at Caenwood Auditorium in Kingston on November 2.

She noted that GSIP will be technologically based and will pay specific attention to literacy and numeracy.
She explained that the programme is dynamic and unconventional in its structure. It has been designed specifically to confront, head on, some of the literacy and numeracy deficiencies demonstrated by the students, and will expose them to the relevant curricula.
“It will seek to build self confidence in the students by providing them with opportunity to self actualize. This programme will be driven by the use of technology and performing arts,” Dr. Campbell emphasized, while pointing out that accountability structures have been put in place to monitor the programme.
GSIP will commence on November 3 and 4, with a sensitization session for Heads of Departments for Religious Education, the Performing Arts, English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Sciences and Information Technology from the selected schools.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Audrey Sewell, through Project Director, USAID/JA Basic Education Project, Dr. Jean Beaumont, who read her message, said she is confident that the programme will be successful, with the support of the stakeholders.
“GSIP is another step in the process of providing the necessary support to the lower secondary levels. The Core Curriculum Unit in collaboration with the Regional Offices and other units of the Curriculum Support Services have sat together to design a dynamic programme for your students, and I am sure that with your support the students will benefit greatly. The programme will provide you with a team of officers that are ready and willing to work with your students to overcome the many challenges that they now face,” Dr. Beaumont read.
President of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association (JTA), Nadine Molloy, commended the efforts that led to “this special initiative” to address the literacy challenges in many of the schools and students entering Grade 7 this year.
Schools participating in GSIP include Carron Hall High and Highgate Primary and Junior High in St. Mary; Ewarton High, St. Catherine; Melrose Primary and Junior High, Kingston; Paul Bogle High, St. Thomas; and Grange Hill High, Westmoreland.