The new national French curriculum, to be introduced in high schools in September, was formally presented to Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, at his Ministry in Kingston on Friday (June 12).
The curriculum, developed for Grades 7-9, will be rolled out in all high schools where French is taught.
Mr. Holness welcomed the move and said that, since French will now be offered in all the grades in high school, he was pressing for the syllabus to be extended to the primary level, where the interest should start. He also noted that the curriculum was available on the Ministry’s website.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, (right) converses with Ambassador of Senegal to Jamaica, Nafissatou Diagne, during a function held at the Ministry in Kingston on Friday (June 12) to formally present the Minister with the new national French curriculum for Grades 7- 9.
“What it means now is that, it is not just reserved for the Ministry of Education, through the formal education system, to deliver the curriculum. Parents, who are interested in their child learning French but may not have the facility in the school, could easily access the curriculum and get support from other areas,” the Minister said.
He commended the French Embassy for supporting the effort to spread the French language in Jamaica, but cautioned that teacher training was critical.
French Ambassador, Marc-Oliver Gendry, said that he was pleased that, for the first time in Jamaica, there will be a unified method of teaching French in the first three years in high school.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, (at podium) addressing persons at a function at the Ministry in Kingston on Friday (June 12) to formally present the Minister with the new national French curriculum for Grades 7-9. To Minister Holness’ immediate right are: Education Officer for Modern Languages in the Core-curriculum Development Unit in the Ministry, Martha Corbett-Baugh, and Ambassador of Senegal to Jamaica, Nafissatou Diagne.
“It’s a considerable improvement, because it will make the training of teachers easier; it will contribute to promoting exchanges and co-operation; (and) it will encourage Jamaican pupils to learn French, because they will know that the way French is taught in Montego Bay, is the same as in Port Antonio,” he said.
Chairperson of the National French Curriculum Committee, Jean Small, said that all schools followed the CXC Syllabus for Grades 10 and 11, but there was no common curriculum for Grades 7- 9 that could facilitate a smooth transition from Grade 9 to Grade 10.
She said work began on the national French curriculum in July, 2003, and its formulation was completed in July 2004.
At the end of the process, seven high schools had participated in the project. They were: Ardenne, St. Andrew, Kingston College, Morant Bay, St. Jago, Knox College and Belair. However, St. Jago did not complete the programme.
During the ceremony, all seven schools were presented with certificates of participation.
The national French curriculum was developed and designed by the Jamaica Association of French Teachers, in collaboration with the Education Ministry and other stakeholders, including the French Embassy; the Alliance Fran