Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly speaks at the press conference on Monday. At left is minister in that ministry Lisa Morris-Julien. PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB –
THE Ministry of Education has announced that a total of 106 schools, across the primary and secondary levels, will benefit from its remediation programme from the academic year 2022/2023.
Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said this at a press conference at the ministry’s head office in Port of Spain on Monday afternoon.
She recalled that Cabinet approved “a range of operational recommendations” in its revised operational plan for 26 secondary schools in July 2022. In addition, in December 2022, Cabinet approved the implementation of a remediation programme for 80 primary schools.
She said that when it comes to primary schools, the criteria was: the total number and/or percentage of students scoring under 30 per cent in SEA 2021
and in the previous two years, the need for support with regards to the leadership and governance structure at the school, student academic achievement, shortcomings in completion of the curriculum and method of curriculum delivery, high student absenteeism/truancy, high levels of referral re: student indiscipline, high levels of critical incidents, socio-economic challenges, and lack of parental involvement and supervision.
As for secondary schools, she said, the criteria was: Percentage of form one intake for 2020/2021 academic year scoring 30 per cent and under, the percentage of students getting five or more CSEC subjects inclusive of math and English A over the period 2019-2021, and the value-added measure – Comparing students’ SEA scores to their CSEC grades five years later.
Gadsby-Dolly said, “The intervention involves the development of a comprehensive, multifaceted, and cohesive system of support.
“The intent of such is to ensure that students are well-positioned to achieve at minimum, basic certification for future self-sufficiency.”
It was recommended that these schools have adjustments made to areas including leadership, teacher development, student services, security, curriculum, discipline and resources and infrastructure.
In total, the ministry will hire 80 learning support assistants and school social workers, seven senior school social workers and 40 guidance counsellors.
In addition, the implementation of the vacation revision programme, online literacy programmes, after-school support programmes for students in standard three to five, and training of 400 teachers, curriculum officers and school supervisors “in various areas for enhanced curriculum delivery and school operations.”
At the secondary school level, measures have already been implemented, such as the assignment of dedicated SSSD staff, three learning assistants each, the Lower Secondary Proficiency Exam (LSPE), the ongoing partnership with the TTPS, ongoing training of teachers and principals, close monitoring of the curriculum implementation and school operations, the vacation revision programme, provision of internet throughout the school compound, approval for significant refurbishment works.”
Restorative practices will also be introduced to ten secondary schools.
This refers to conflict resolution, improving relationships with others, etc.
The ten schools are: Success Laventille Secondary School, Diego Martin North Secondary School, Chaguanas South Secondary School, San Juan North Secondary School, Union Claxton Bay Secondary School, Moruga Secondary School, Siparia West Secondary School, Valencia Secondary School, Mucurapo East Secondary School, El Dorado West Secondary School.
Gadsby-Dolly urged the public to understand that there is no “quick fix” to many of the issues which will be worked on through these measures.
“The issues affecting the education sector did not develop in two years and will not be solved by any one measure and certainly not quickly. It requires hard work and effort, constant monitoring and evaluation and commitment to the task.”
Chief education officer Dr Peter Smith said the new measures will help students “overcome barriers to learning and re-egnage them in classroom instruction, focus on academic, social, emotional and intellectual learning obstacles that occur…”
It will also help those who have mild to moderate learning and behavioural challenges.
The full list of schools can be found on the ministry’s website.