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The Mutual Building Societies Foundation, has established two Centres of Excellence, one at the Mile Gully High School in Manchester, and at the McGrath High School in St. Catherine.
The Centres aim to build the institutions’ capacity, while empowering the students to achieve more academically.
Speaking recently at the Mile Gully High, Programme Manager for the Foundation, Grace Camille Munroe, said the project is intended to bring about change in the schools.
“The project came as a means to bring about change and transformation to our schools. A school improvement team has been established with a mandate to refine the management plans that the schools will be submitting, and implement them. The team will also monitor and communicate to the school community of progress being made,” she informed.
Ms. Munroe noted that her team has staged several sensitisation workshops with the schools’ boards, teachers, students, as well as residents in the communities, where the schools are situated, with a view to garnering support for the project.
“To bring about change, we need to know what the issues are, and what we need to focus on. And to achieve institutional strengthening, we spent sometime during the summer at the Mile Gully High School, conducting needs assessments with our Grade 7 students, who are going to be our bench mark. Psycho-education assessments, and behavioural screenings were done, (and) all of this information will be used by the school at the administrative level, in planning for two of the key areas of focus, literacy and numeracy.
“Also, we are helping the teachers to identify learning challenges with our students, and to be able to respond with teaching strategies (such as) lesson planning, class room management, and other strategies, that are going to be supportive of our students learning,” she stated.
By the end of September both schools will have to submit improvement plans to the Foundation, in order to receive the first tranch of an $11 million grant that they will be receiving over the next three years.