Minister of Education Hon. Andrew Holness, took time out on Teachers’ Day, Wednesday (May 6), to talk with students of a Grade Six class at the Drews Avenue Primary and Infant School in Kingston.
During his visit to the institution, Mr. Holness participated in the teaching of mathematics to a grade six class. He dealt with individual students having difficulties with the subject, in an effort to assist them to grasp the measurement exercise being taught.
“I have learnt from what the Minister was saying, he helped me and gave me examples to understand the problem,” were the sentiments expressed by class six student, Shantell Hunt, after the lesson from Minister Holness.
Minister of Education Hon. Andrew Holness (right) points out the intricacies of a lesson to class six student at the Drews Avenue Primary and Infant School, Shantell Hunt, during a visit to the institution on Wednesday (May 6). The Minister’s visit formed part of activities observing Teachers’ Day staged by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association(JTA) to celebrate Education Week 2009 under the theme: ‘A Transformed Education System: the Path to National Development.’
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Holness said that the purpose of the exercise was to have the students determine series and relationships between shapes. He noted that the exercise identified the different learning styles of students.
“Math is a challenge, but one thing we are certain of is that there are gifted students in any classroom, and there are students who will gravitate towards mathematical concepts very easily. Other students will need support and I can imagine that, in a crowded classroom, teachers get frustrated because it takes time and it takes patience,” he explained.
He noted that in an effort to address the issue and to ensure that students grasp the lesson, specialists are brought into the schools to support teachers.
This will organise the teaching force in such a way that they can pay attention to the weak children, while giving the support to those children who grasp the concepts quickly, he said.
He reminded students that they have a responsibility to learn, noting that even though they may be frustrated, “they can’t tune out.”
He implored students to develop their internal strengths, and encouraged teachers to continue to support them to develop the skills necessary to articulate in society. He also urged teachers to continue doing their work and being productive.
“It (teaching) is more than a profession, as you are contributing to the development of the society,” he stated.
The Minister also toured sections of the school compound, including the reading resource centre, accompanied by officials from his Ministry
In recognition of Teachers’ Day, Mr. Holness presented three members of staff with long service and dedication awards. The rest of the teaching staff were presented with motivational books.
Teachers’ Day is one of the activities staged by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association(JTA) to celebrate Education Week, which is being held under the theme: ‘A Transformed Education System: the Path to National Development.’
The week observes the contribution of teachers to the education system, and, by extension, nation building.