???Learning just got a lot easier with the Future Star Planner??? was the theme which the Mindev Group brought to Bay Primary School today with the launch of their student planner..

Addressing the theme, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Harry Husbands, acknowledged that while many of the projects brought to the Ministry, to assist schools, placed emphasis on technology, this student planner, though considered ???relatively low tech???, had its benefits.

???The planner offers opportunities to go back to the basics – that is the art of handwriting; the art of composition or essay writing and by extension to develop the skill of reading. So, I think we can use this excellent initiative??? to bring a focus on some of the core elements of our work,??? said Senator Husbands, pointing out that this was despite the fact that it was ???not flashy technology like the iPad or computer???.

While telling students that Steve Jobs, the inventor of Apple computers and the iPhone, ???who had a hand in everything technological???, lived a relatively low technology environment with his own children, he said there was nothing wrong with going back to the basics and back to the art, science and skill called teaching and learning.

While alluding to the growing debate in educational circles about at what stage children should be taught to write, the Parliamentary Secretary said while some believed children were being taught ???a bit too early???, there was also growing evidence and research that children should be writing and forming letters as early as possible.

???This is because that activity of forming letters and actual physical writing helps in their cognitive development,??? he stressed.

The Future Star Planner, which is expected to be sold at schools across the island, was developed by Ian Yearwood and his wife, owners of Mindev. The two are on a mission to produce content for children and adults that would improve the standard of reading and writing in Barbados. It contains tips on healthy eating, morals, values and bullying, among others.


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