JIS News

Story Highlights

  • An increasing number of students from the 72 schools involved in the New Horizon Project are gaining passes in Mathematics in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
  • Margaret Sancho, Director of the Office of Development at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said that 45 per cent of the girls and 29 per cent of the boys in the targeted schools showed significant improvement in the subject.
  • She was speaking at the opening ceremony of an Expo featuring Students' and Teachers' work, at the St. Johns Anglican Church Hall, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, recently.

An increasing number of students from the 72 schools involved in the New Horizon Project are gaining passes in Mathematics in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

Margaret Sancho, Director of the Office of Development at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said that 45 per cent of the girls and 29 per cent of the boys in the targeted schools showed significant improvement in the subject.

She was speaking at the opening ceremony of an Expo featuring Students’ and Teachers’ work, at the St. Johns Anglican Church Hall, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, recently.

Miss Sancho pointed out that the passes for female and male students at the designated schools had increased to 31 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, over a four-year period, having moved up from 14 per cent and six per cent, respectively in 1998.

With regard to Language Arts, the USAID Director said the performance had not been as phenomenal, but there had been success, with an eight per cent and 13 per cent increase in passes for girls and boys, respectively, over the similar period.

“In September, 1997 when the project was being designed, we carefully expressed how and why we wanted to achieve the strategic objective of increased literacy and numeracy among targeted Jamaican youth’, using the four themes – quality education, demand drive, poverty alleviation, and the culture of success,” she said, pointing out that USAID was committed to the improvement of education in Jamaica.

As the teachers paused to celebrate their successes in Mathematics and Language Arts, Miss Sancho said the 72 targeted primary and all-age schools across the island were privileged to benefit from the interventions of NHP.

She challenged the pilot schools to network and share the best practices and resources to help promote a multiplier effect, which would enhance the education system.

Jacinth Gordon, Director of Projects in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture explained that the NHP is a seven-year joint initiative of the USAID and the Government of Jamaica (GOJ), with its major objective of improving students’ performance in literacy and numeracy.

Mrs. Gordon said the project was implemented through a partnership, consisting of Juarez and Associates, National Council on Education (NCE) and the Professional Development Unit (PDU).

The project, she said, employed a holistic, student-centred approach utilizing ten interventions including, developing innovative mathematics and literacy programmes, supplementary reading and mathematics programme, training literacy and mathematics resource teachers, education technology and integration of databases.

Several schools from regions, Two, Three and Four of the Ministry participated in the exposition.