More than 43,000 students are participating in the National Summer School Programme, reports Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams.
She said that the number comprises 16,530 students engaged in face-to-face classes and some 27,000 benefiting from online sessions.
Minister Williams noted that the face-to-face classes, which were scheduled to start on Monday (July 5), were delayed by a day, due to inclement weather associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa.
“At the close of the day yesterday, the numbers collected from the regions showed that we had 326 primary schools participating, 36 secondary schools… and 1,515 tutors,” she said during a virtual post-Cabinet briefing on Wednesday (July 7).
She noted that more students were expected to report on Wednesday and Thursday “as we continue to be mindful of the coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols”.
In terms of the online component, which began on Monday, Mrs. Williams informed that almost 27,000 students are engaged through three online platforms – Learning Hub, Edufocal and One-on-One Educational Services Limited.
“As students come on, they will complete their gap test and then customisation of the tutoring would begin for students, and that would be ongoing. Our expectation is that as we go through the programme, we will continue to see an increase in the number of students, the number of schools, the number of tutors that come online,” Mrs. Williams noted.
The Education Minister said she is pleased with the start of the programme, noting that it is a “major initiative for all our children in recognition of the learning loss and learning gaps that they would’ve been experiencing”.
“I know that many parents have expressed their appreciation, many school leaders also… remain supportive of the programme that will continue, particularly in the online mode, even when we complete the actual programme for the summer,” she said.
The National Summer School Programme forms part of the Recover Smarter – National School Learning and Intervention Plan (NSLIP) aimed at helping students to recover from learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NSLIP will allow for improvement in the academic performance of students enrolled in the programme over the summer period and will also provide academic enrichment activities for targeted students through its intervention framework.
Under the summer initiative, students from grades one to 11 can access teaching and learning focused on the core subject areas such as mathematics, English language, social studies and science.