Covid Aftermath: 10,000 students need remedial lessons- Jamaica

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Covid Aftermath: 10,000 students need remedial lessons- Jamaica

Some 10,000 students who have returned to the classroom since last November are in urgent need of remedial attention according to the Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams.

The Minister made the disclosure while answering questions from Opposition Member of Parliament for St Andrew South Eastern, Julian Robinson, during the recent sitting of the Parliament’s Standing Finance Committee. The Committee, over two days, examined the $912 billion Estimates of Expenditure for the 2022/23 fiscal year.

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While the number of 10,000 is cause for concern, the actual number of students in need of some intervention could be higher as there are still thousands of students who have not had any contact with the education system since schools were closed in March 2020, shortly after Jamaica confirmed its first case of COVID-19.

“Preliminarily about 10,000 are going to require real intensive hands-on [to get them back on track],” Williams said in response to Robinson. When asked how the matter will be dealt with, Williams said $250 million was set aside to address the necessary remedial work which she explained will include extra lessons, a homework programme and online interventions.

“We have math and literary coaches that are going to be working with under-performing schools,” Williams informed. She said there are also student coaches, pullout sessions for lagging students and co-teaching and planning. The minister said there will also be math and literary camps and parents have been advised that there will be another summer school programme similar to the one that was conducted last year to help students make-up lost time.

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And, in order to help these students make up for their two-year absence, Williams said individual learning plans have been drawn up and are being used to assist them. Separately, schools are also providing extra lessons to these students, as well as homework support “to help them in terms of more time on task,” said the education minister.

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Williams told the committee that all students are given the diagnostic test once they return to the classroom. She said that 70 per cent of the student body has been assessed since last November when the full resumption of face-to-face classes was first announced. The minister said that the data from the diagnostic test goes back to the education ministry for assessment. She said it was from this assessment that it was discovered that 10,000 were in need of urgent remedial work.

10,000 students in need of urgent remedial attention says Williams  Jamaica Observer


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