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LETTER OF THE DAY - Good move to deploy more special educators in schools

Published:Saturday | January 19, 2013 | 12:00 AM


I must applaud the Ministry of Education for its plans to train select primary-school teachers to better identify problems that students may be facing which are inhibiting their learning.

I think that over the years, we have placed a great emphasis on the instructional delivery in our classrooms and have undermined the value of properly assessing our students. As such, many students have been underperforming in our schools and we have neglected them or denounced them as mere 'dunce bats' when we, as educators, have failed to identify their deep-seated and crippling psychological and physiological challenges as learners.

I am, therefore, pleased with the ministry's expanding focus on including more adept special educators in our schools, especially at the primary-school level, where students are at a formative stage of development.

In this vein, I suggest that teacher-training institutions adequately prepare prospective teachers, regardless of their area of specialisation, to detect learning deficiencies in students. Consequently, more teachers will be able to participate in a regular assessment process in our schools and more of our challenged students will be identified and assisted.

We can no longer rely on well-crafted lesson plans to boost students' performance.We must get to the bases of our learners' problems through more rigorous assessments and critical analyses of the results from these procedures. This information should then enable us to design appropriate instruction for students and secure necessary medical attention to ultimately enhance their performance.

Continue on this path of forward thinking, Minister Thwaites.



Mico Guild of Students