The Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) is embarking on several initiatives to provide students with additional educational support over the summer vacation, having recognised the impact of the lack of face- to-face instruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The poor performance of students in the recent National Class 4 Assessment in May highlighted several learning deficits among this cohort of students, but also provided a snapshot of the devastating impact which the lack of face-to-face teaching has had across all class levels.
In response to these challenges, the Ministry has extended the date for the sitting of the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE) to July 28. To further assist students writing the exam, additional face-to-face teaching and support will be provided from July 12 to 27.
Arrangements have been made with the School Meals Department to continue to prepare packed lunches for students during the aforementioned period.
Additionally, a “School Report Card” has been forwarded to each school outlining the learning deficits shown in the recent assessment.
Assistance is also being organised for primary school students in Infants A to Class 3 in the form of the Bounce Back Summer School Programme, for a further three-week period.
The sessions will be held daily from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as follows:
- Students in Infants A and B from July 12 to 30;
- Students in Classes 1,2 & 3 from August 9 to 27.
A packed lunch will be served to students attending the Summer School.
The Ministry of Education, in a statement, has said that while the Teachers’ Unions and Principals’ Associations have not endorsed this initiative, it has been inundated with calls from retired educators, graduates of Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, as well as some current members of the existing teaching complement, who have expressed an interest in participating.
Therefore, it is inviting educators who wish to volunteer to be part of the Bounce Back Summer School Programme to complete a registration form on the Ministry’s website, by Friday, June 25. Queries may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ministry will shortly be launching its learning support programme for secondary school students who have deferred sitting the Caribbean Examination Councils CAPE and CSEC exams until 2022.
Meanwhile, arrangements are also being made for a Summer Camp for other secondary school students and details of this will be announced shortly.
According to the METVT, these camps will focus on introducing students to various technical and vocational skills-based subjects, among other things.