Summer School Primary 2016 opened yesterday with an official ceremony at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall and a call to parents/guardians to create an environment for true discipline that would assist children in their learning.
The appeal came from Deputy Chief Education Officer, Dr. Roderick Rudder who said: “If it means that between 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. there is no activity other than some form of stimulating work – reading, mathematics or science – you have to set the parameters. Hold on tight to those parameters so that the environment of discipline is created.”
He continued: “That extra 15 or 20 minutes of reading per day can make a significant difference in the lives of each child whether you are a high performer or not. The extra time that you take to spend trying to solve those Mathematics problems or to consolidate your understanding of the Mathematics concepts will make a significant difference, not just for the next four weeks, but it could be for the rest of our lives.”
Emphasising that discipline was an important watchword, the former teacher said: “I want you to seriously think about what are the conditions that would help to make the difference in your child’s performance, not only over the next four weeks, not only over the next year, but into the future.
“It is that capacity to exercise a level of control, and to foster it in a stable environment in which each child can focus on very clear objectives and targets that they want to reach; and to make every effort -shutting out all distractions – to ensure success at the end of the day.”
He also appealed to parents to sustain their children’s interest in education, adding that he hoped they were willing to make the commitment to be there for them not only for this Summer School but for the rest of their educational journey.
Senior Education Officer with responsibility for curriculum, Fernando Carter noted that the four-week initiative had been around for over a decade. He pointed out that it was aimed primarily at giving deferred students a “second chance to upgrade their skills” and urged parents to play their part in making it a wholesome experience. Summer School, he stressed, would attempt to bring something different from what was customary in the classroom.
“We attempt to bring the highest level of teaching and learning into your child’s experience and we also attempt to ensure that the learning process is meaningful and has a lasting effect,” declared Mr. Carter.
An initiative of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Summer School 2016 targets students who were granted a deferral from the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination. It is being held at the Hindsbury Primary, Hindsbury Road, St Michael. It is intended to improve students’ competencies in literacy and numeracy, and to enhance their social interactions.
Students selected to attend Summer School wrote a mathematics diagnostic test to determine their competencies on entering the programme. The theme for this year’s mathematics programme is Developing Number Sense through Problem Solving and classroom instruction will therefore focus on important teaching and learning approaches which are needed to make mathematics learning meaningful.