Summer School Primary is one way in which the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation intends to provide the necessary support and stimulus for students to reach their full potential.
Senior Education Officer (Ag), Fernando Carter, stated this today, as he addressed the start of the four-week camp at the George Lamming Primary School, Flint Hall, St. Michael, for students who deferred taking the Barbados Secondary Schools??? Entrance Examination.
The July 7 to 30 programme, he said, would provide children with the opportunity to obtain improved competencies in literacy, numeracy, social interactions and learn an extra-curricular skill.
Urging parents and guardians to become familiar with the work children were required to know, Mr. Carter said: ???Be partners with the school and become facilitators of your child???s learning at home, in the supermarket, at church and at every situation that supports life lessons and teaching opportunities.???
He further told them that the trained professionals of the Ministry were always mindful of the need to understand their charges, and hence employed a variety of strategies to ensure meaningful learning.
Facilitators at the camp will employ a Balanced Literacy Approach, which will address reading fluency, strategies of comprehending, independent reading and vocabulary development.
Each student will also receive individualised instruction based on the results of a diagnostic reading assessment. At the end of the period of instruction retesting will be done to monitor and evaluate students??? progress and the gains made as a result of summer school.
The education official emphasised that this data driven approach to instruction must be employed by all schools throughout the school year. He noted that a highly neglected source of useful information for instructional design was the Criterion Referenced Test (CRT).
???Most of the weaknesses exhibited by your children today could have been discovered and corrected through analysis of the data from the CRT, National Assessments and focused teacher observations long ago. Early intervention from Class One can arrest any latent condition(s) that can impact student performance later in school,??? declared Mr. Carter.
Schools, he added, needed to lobby for the resources for remediation and should treat all students as worthy targets for added value. ???School-based programmes resulting from action research are critical in dealing with the issues that teachers encounter every day. Furthermore, schools must continue the work started at Summer School Primary to ensure sustainability and continuous improvement of the students,??? he said.
Commending teachers and facilitators, he called on them to persevere in their quest to make a difference in the students??? lives. ???Remember to connect, connect, connect! Connect to understand the context the child lives in and how that impacts on attitude and behaviour. Connect to the consciousness that makes up that child???s personality and learning challenges. Connect all you have learnt to create a course of individualised instruction to promote meaningful learning. I know you can do it!??? Mr. Carter remarked.