THE EDITOR: Since the release of the SEA results, I have read many newspaper contributors unfairly criticising teachers and the Ministry of Education for not doing enough to help the estimated 2,000 plus students who fall below the 30 per cent mark.
However, it was refreshing to read the views of former TTUTA head and prominent educator, Trevor Oliver from MOMS for Literacy, highlighting the ministry’s initiatives to help these students.
Oliver said after discussion with the minister and top functionaries of his ministry, they recognise that laudable efforts are being made to deal with the problem and they applaud what is being done. This is the kind of partnership that is needed to help this group of students.
As someone who follows issues in education, I observed many that contributors know very little about the changes in the education system. Some of these changes include curriculum initiatives.
They criticise teachers unfairly, instead of giving credit for what they do in classrooms to help weak students. These so-called education experts even blame student support officers for the situation, while providing inaccurate information to the public.
I am aware teachers have been trained to implement a very strategic initiative which specifically targets Form One students in the areas of literacy and numeracy, using what is called an adapted curriculum. The approach is data-driven and evaluations are done to measure students’ progress. Parents also have an option to let students resit the SEA exam.
This multifaceted approach to improve literacy and numeracy mandates school supervisors and curriculum officers to visit the classroom and provide hands-on support and feedback for teachers to help weak students. It also involves key stakeholders including parents and other agencies.
RAJENDRA NARINE, Princes Town