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Class Sizes to be Reduced

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JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information intends to reduce the size of classes at the nation’s schools as part of measures to improve student achievement.


“I am working on a budget to do so,” said portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.


He was speaking at the launch of a special curriculum for children with learning disabilities held on Tuesday (November 28) at the Randolph Lopez School of Hope in St. Andrew.


He said that there is agreement with stakeholders for the establishment of a student-teacher ratio of 1:25 for regular schools and even lower for institutions where there is a concentration of students with special needs.


“We have the intellectual knowledge as to what we must do to reach every one of our precious children,” Mr. Reid said, noting that “no one should be left behind”.


“Everyone should be treated special. There is an approach to reach every child, there is a customised approach, and that is where we are going,” he added.


Assistant Chief Education Officer in charge of the Special Education Unit, Dr. Sharon Anderson Morgan, said the new curriculum, developed in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), came out of a need to provide a syllabus for students with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities that would allow them to “progress at their own pace”.


She said the curriculum will foster a higher level of skills in areas such as functionality and academics, and practical areas, which will allow the children to interact appropriately with the wider society.


Dr. Anderson Morgan noted that with the new curriculum, students with disabilities will acquire a sense of self-determination, self-advocacy and self-worth.


“We are grateful to UNICEF for fueling this dream,” she said while lauding the contribution of other agencies as well as community-based organisations.


She invited other entities to partner with the Ministry “as we seek to offer quality special education across the system”.


CAPTION: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid. (FILE)