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  • Residents in East Rural St. Andrew are benefitting from a 10-year programme of educational development.
  • Each household will gain three Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) subjects, and at least one professional over time.
  • Some $15.8 million was spent from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) on various aspects of his educational development plan.

Residents in East Rural St. Andrew are benefitting from a 10-year programme of educational development, which should see each household gaining three Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) subjects, and at least one professional over time.

Providing details of the plan during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on June 10, State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Damion Crawford, some $15.8 million was spent from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) on various aspects of his educational development plan.

“When the children who are in the third grade take the literacy test next year, you will see the real fruits of our labour. This year we will be going on a campaign for more volunteers to participate in Verandah Basic,  a literacy programme where mothers who can’t read, go to a home and learn on the verandah of a volunteer, at least once per week,” he said.

“The importance of a parent in the early development of a child’s literacy cannot be overstated, and it is the aim of Verandah Basic to accomplish this,” the State Minister argued.

Emphasizing that the three CXC subjects per household can only be achieved through deliberate efforts, Mr. Crawford said focus has been placed on the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). “We must accept that there is much higher probability for success if at 12 years, children pass for certain schools,” he said.

“It is my intention that our children in East Rural St. Andrew, should in the main, pass for the more traditional schools, while we work assiduously to improve all schools as a Government,” Mr. Crawford  said,  reporting that he initiated some 180  hours of math prep sessions  for children doing CXC mathematics.

He pointed out that the sessions have been videotaped and placed on You Tube, so that persons from across the island can benefit from the programme.

The State Minister said he also established seven centres for night school across the constituency for adults, where participants have received the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) certification in food preparation, bar-tending, cashiering, and events management.

“Let us empower at least one person to become the catalyst for change, the beacon of hope and the financier of dreams in each family,” he told the House.

Mr. Crawford also called on tertiary institutions to stop de-registering students for non-payment of fees, as there is no benefit to be derived from the practice. He recommended that the schools withhold exam results, until the payments are settled.

The Member of Parliament also called for expansion of mobile health clinics for his constituency.

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