Advertisement
JIS News

The Ministry of Education and Youth’s Spanish curriculum pilot programme will be extended to grades three and six this academic year, while 50 additional institutions will be included in the programme. Winston Forrest, Acting Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Core Curriculum Unit, told JIS News that some $4 million would be spent in the effort.
“For this academic year, we are going to be doing the last part of the pilot, that is, grades three and six, as well as taking on 50 additional schools, and we have identified at least $4 million already to spend on that,” he said.
The programme started some two years ago in 16 schools across the island with the aim of introducing a Revised Spanish Curriculum for primary and preparatory schools.
In the 2004 to 2005 school year, Mr. Forrest explained, “we had invited schools, which were already doing Spanish, to take on the curriculum. In the 2004/2005 school year, we had grades one and four, and in the next school year, 2005/2006, we had grades two and five. In the upcoming school year, we should have grades three and six in those pilot schools,” he informed.
Mr. Forrest explained that the rationale of conducting the pilot by grades was to mirror the success of the Revised Primary Curriculum.
“The Revised Primary Curriculum was rolled out into the system on a phased basis with grades one and four and two and five and then six. We did not want the Spanish curriculum to stand out so much that it was regarded as something brand new. Remember that we did the pilot in schools that already had elements of Spanish being taught at the primary level,” he noted.
He told JIS News that schools were asked to become a part of the programme through the regional offices and those participating in the pilot did so voluntarily.
Meanwhile, Mr. Forrest said the programme would also be introduced on a phased basis in the 50 additional schools. “One of the early lessons we learnt from the pilot. is that many of them preferred the phased basis. They didn’t think that they necessarily had the capability to deal with it through all the grades all at once,” he noted.
The primary Spanish pilot programme came out of a mandate by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 2003, to ensure that citizens within the region could speak a second language.