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Primary Schools to be Equipped with ICT


JIS: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says a programme is to be announced shortly to facilitate the establishment of an information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure in primary institutions.


“This will result in the Ministry providing laptops, projectors and WIFI capabilities to facilitate effective teaching and learning. We are going to provide resources to make sure that every school … has those capabilities,” he said.


Senator Reid was addressing a Mathematics and Literacy Education Forum for board chairpersons and principals of schools in regions five and six, at the Kendal Conference Centre in Mandeville on October 26.


He said the Ministry will be making greater use of technology in the teaching and learning processes, as well as to keep track of students, improve school management, among other things.


“We have to leverage technology to drive greater productivity and achievement of our students in the system,” he said.


The Minister, in the meantime, is encouraging teachers at the primary- and secondary-school levels to embrace the new National Standards Curriculum (NSC).


He noted that the recently completed training of teachers and principals in the NSC will result in improved outcomes for the country’s children due to the inclusivity of the curriculum.


He said that with the new curriculum, all children, regardless of their needs, will be given an opportunity to do well.


“The Ministry is confident that the National Standards Curriculum will be effective in preparing Jamaica’s children for life in the 21st century and beyond,” the Minister said.


The NSC, for the grades one to nine levels, seeks to improve the general academic performance, attitude and behaviour of students, which will redound to the positive shaping of the national social and economic fabric.


Emphasis will be placed on project-based and problem-solving learning, with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics/Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEM/STEAM) integrated at all levels.


The approaches will allow the learners to have hands-on experiences that are similar to real-world situations, making the learning experience less abstract and more concrete.


Other matters discussed at the function included budgetary provisions for repairs and refurbishment of school furniture; three years for the removal of schools from the shift system; the proposed increase in primary-school general grants to $2,500 per student; and elimination of pit latrines by the end of 2016.


CAPTION: Restorative Justice 1: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (left), is in discussion with National Mathematics Coordinator at the Education Ministry, Dr.Tamika Benjamin. Occasion was a Mathematics and Literacy Education Forum for Board Chairpersons and Principals in regions five and six at the Kendal Conference Centre in Mandeville on October 25.