JIS News

Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry Wilson has spoken out against the loud noises and the general abuse of children, which ultimately affect a young child’s ability to learn.
She said auditory tests were given each year to children just starting school and what has been discovered from these tests, was that many of the children were unable to distinguish sound.
“There is a fear that there is too much noise,” Minister Wilson told parents and school staff on Thursday (Jan. 22) at the dedication of a new building for the Laura’s Basic School, on Baldwin Crescent in Kingston.
“This constant noise makes it very difficult for them to discriminate sound. We have to watch out for the night noises. We have to stop this everlasting thump in the children’s ears because what it is doing to them in terms of their ability to learn is that it is harming them,” she stressed.
Mrs. Henry-Wilson called on parents and members of the community, in general, to support the work of school staff by becoming more sensitive to the learning needs of young children and by helping them to develop an interest in learning and to be the best they can be.
“We believe there is a partnership there that we have to forge. The first five years of a child’s life is when they either develop a distinct liking or a hatred for learning.if everyone ‘partnered’ . then the child will have a nurturing environment which will make them believe education is important,” she said.
Member of Parliament for the area, O.T. Williams, also stressed the need for community cooperation, particularly in helping children develop good moral values.
Principal of neighbouring George Headley Primary, Veronica Wynter, challenged “all stakeholders to commit themselves as partners.”
She also commended the school for its successes so far. “It must be noted that Laura’s Basic School is one of the few schools that ensure that children are ready to make the transition,” she said.
The Laura’s Basic School was founded by the late Rose Lawrence, who started the school at her home in 1965, with her own children as the students. The school continued to grow and by 1980 the student population had climbed to 99.
That was the year, Edith Nembhard-Chaplin became principal and began to seek land to relocate. Last year, with the assistance of the ministry and other sponsors, a building to house the students was constructed at a cost of over $3 million.
Today, there are now 134 students on roll and Mrs. Chaplin, in an interview with JIS News, said space was still limited. She anticipates that, with the new building, there will be more parents wanting their children to be registered. Therefore, her immediate plans are for at least two more classrooms to be added. “We estimate we will need $1.1 million for extra classrooms,” she said.

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