JAM | May 17, 2023

10,000 four-year-old students facing learning problems – Fayval

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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Education Minister Fayval Williams . (Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson, JIS)

More than 10,000 four-year-old students identified by the Ministry of Education are to be monitored and supported in class because of learning and behavioural problems.

The students were selected through the Jamaica School Readiness assessment conducted by the Ministry this year. The assessment sought to identify students who need trained practitioners to monitor them during their schooling. A total of 21,179 students were assessed.

The information was shared by Minister of Education Fayval Williams during her contributions to the 2023-2024 Sectoral Debate today (May 17).

“It means we have to provide additional trained practitioners for the monitoring or individual intervention that is needed… It is clear that the data are alerting us to the early actions we must take if we want to arrest the problem of children leaving primary school and not being able to read at the grade six level,” said the Minister.

The assessment revealed that while the majority (17,161) of four-year-old children do not require added support, more than 2,300 students need intervention and monitoring. Additionally, more than 7,600 need support through an individual intervention plan.

“Over the last three decades, our Jamaican people have become much more appreciative of the importance of the early years in a child’s education. Indeed all of us can acknowledge that whatever learning gaps we see at primary and secondary school level can be traced to the inadequate support in the early years,” said Williams.

As such, the Ministry developed an Individual Learning Support Plan (ILSP) to support the children
and their families. Additionally, the Early Childhood Commission will support these families during the summer break before they transition to Grade One. Emphasis will be on critical areas of greatest need.


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