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JIS News

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Adelle Brown, is assuring parents that the primary school textbooks, provided by the government, were of a high academic standard and closely reflected the direction of the revised school curriculum.
The government is providing 2.2 million textbooks this year at a cost of just under $300 million. The textbooks cover the subjects of English Language, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science.
Speaking with JIS News, Mrs. Brown said that, “the series that we have chosen . [has] been written specifically for the curriculum.”
She explained that because the curriculum for grades one to three was recently integrated, for a short period, the textbooks were not identical to the curriculum, but new texts have been published to match the primary programme. “There are no other books, which match the curriculum as closely as the ones that we have provided,” she stated.
Additionally, Mrs. Brown said that while the improved curriculum and book provisions for grades one through four have been completed, work was continuing on the revised material for grades five and six. “In terms of grades five and six, some of the new revised textbooks have not yet hit the market, and those that we are still providing, are still the ones, which are closest to the curriculum,” she noted.
Within the next 18 months, she assured, there would be enough textbooks in the system to precisely match the revised curriculum.
Mrs. Brown explained that the book selection process included consultations and assessments of a range of material. She informed JIS News that evaluation committees examined books and manuscripts submitted to the Ministry. These were reviewed for content, methodology, and how closely they were aligned to the curriculum. They were also examined for, “how sound the pedagogy is and all the educational areas,” she pointed out.
The Ministry official pointed out, however, that while the government provided the textbooks at the primary school level, workbooks for students sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) were not included.
Mrs. Brown used the opportunity to appeal to parents to encourage their children to read and use the books properly. She said that the Ministry spent millions of dollars buying books, which are sometimes not well utilized. “Follow them chapter to chapter,” she appealed. “Let them show you what they have done last week, [and] where they are going. Let them read for you each day,” she added.