Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Teachers prepare for back to school

Published:Friday | August 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Digicel Foundation Education Programme Manager Dane Richardson (right) discusses the highlights of the Enrichment Forum with Frauline Hall (left), principal of Claremont All-Age, while Marsha Shepherd of Irwin Primary looks on. - Contributed Photos
Belynda James-Dalley of Corinaldi Primary School shares her perspective with her colleagues at the Enrichment Forum hosted by Digicel Foundation.

Sixty-four teachers and principals from 32 primary schools across western and central Jamaica are now in full swing with their preparations for the upcoming back-to-school period. As part of this planning, the teachers and principals participated in an Enrichment Forum to strategise and have meaningful discussions on how they can leverage their past successes to address the challenges of literacy and numeracy in their respective schools. The Enrichment Forum was held in partnership with Digicel Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at the Wexford Court Hotel.

During the very lively discussions among the educators, one common plea by the participants was the need for greater collaboration and investment in facilities and resources for children in the public-school system who may have been diagnosed or undiagnosed with special needs. This, the teachers and principals strongly believe, has a negative impact on the teaching and learning environment in schools. Novelette Harry of Bethlehem Primary shared that, "Teachers are not equipped to address issues of special needs. In many cases, students are identified as having special needs only after they are too far in the system."

However, interventions like the Enrichment Programme are specifically designed to start addressing these and other challenges that negatively impact the learning outcomes of children at the primary level. Jodi-Ann Campbell of Lucea Primary emphatically expressed that, "We are so happy for the materials, resources and trainings provided by Digicel Foundation." She added, "The last training with the Ministry of Education was quite helpful to me and the other teachers."