A number of limitations are hindering several primary school children from fully utilising educational opportunities provided.

This observation was reiterated by Minister of Community Development, Steve Blackett, during a press briefing on the National Lessons Assistance Programme (NLAP), which was launched today at the Warrens Office Complex.??

The Minister noted that whereas some children were not able to access reinforcement outside of the classroom, others lived in an environment where the value of education was not impressed upon them.

"As a result of these barriers, performance in school is often poor, or at the least, sluggish. Therefore, it is not surprising that these particular children tend to get the lowest scores in the Common Entrance Exam… Research has shown however, that when many of the identified barriers are removed, the life chances of these children are greatly improved," Mr. Blackett stated.

The Minister explained that the NLAP would "mitigate some of the psycho-social barriers preventing some of our children from performing at their potential during the Common Entrance Exam.

"This will be achieved by providing the children participating with a pace, which, though structured, is not as rushed as that which exists during regular school hours. There is time for more individual attention which these children need, and a chance for more interaction with the teacher."

The NLAP was facilitated by the Community Development Department, under the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development. It was designed for students preparing for the Common Entrance Examination, who require additional support to enhance their performance.

The programme, still in its pilot phase, started in November 2010, and currently has nine schools enrolled.????


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