Education Ministry refocuses Schools Curriculum

As part of Curriculum Awareness Activities for 2018, the Curriculum Division within the Ministry of Education has embarked on several initiatives to enhance student’s performance in the classroom, especially, in the areas of Language and Mathematics, two mandatory subjects in which students have been under-performing over the years.

Language Curriculum Officer, Diane Francis-Thomas

Speaking of plans to address this issue and improve student participation and learning, during a press briefing at the ministry’s conference room on Monday, Language Curriculum Officer, Diane Francis-Thomas announced the introduction of a ‘language bus’ competition, geared at enhancing language usage, Mathematics Curriculum Officer, Lydon Richardson spoke of plans to use the mental arithmetic quiz to get students better acquainted with the subject.

A number of other measures are in the pipeline including mental arithmetic quiz and science fairs across the tri-island state of Grenada Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Additionally, the Education officers revealed the findings of previous assessments, which show that there is a deficiency in student performance in the areas of comprehension, writing and oral skills at the grade 4, 5 and 6 levels.

According to Deputy Chief Education Officer with responsible for Curriculum, Maria Charles-Viechweg, the division had to refocus its curriculum to keep up with the changing times.

Mathematics Curriculum Officer Lydon Richardson

Expounding on the theme for this year’s Curriculum Activities; “Refocusing the curriculum to mitigate 21st century challenges”, Viechweg said: “We can no longer continue to teach 21st Century children with 18th Century methods”.

“It doesn’t work anymore. We are soon becoming, what we call fossils in this new era, so we have to refocus to be able to meet them as they come with all their new ideas and their fingers bubbling to use all the gadgets”, she said.

“We have to see how we can meet their needs. And so it is the time for us too, at the department, to refocus and review how we do things and to look forward to provide quality service to the schools”, she added.

The Ministry of Education introduced the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) electronic testing (e-testing) in secondary schools in January 2017, with multiple choice tests online.

However, the ministry officials noted that students are not yet ready to take the CXC’s long term paper test online, as they need to be brought up to speed on typing so that they can have an acceptable level of proficiency for the time allotted to take the exam.

Deputy Chief Education Officer, Maria Charles-Viechweg

The Curriculum Division’s “Curriculum Awareness Activities” commenced on Sunday with a Church service at the St. Paul’s Pentecostal Church.

This was followed by Monday’s press conference, a retreat at River Antoine on Tuesday, under the theme “Professional Ethics”, a round-the-table discussion with officials from various businesses within the tourism and construction industries touching on the kind of graduates they hope to employ in the future.

The activities will culminate in the western parish of St. Mark, with a ‘Social Call’ visit to the Bonair Government and St. Mark’s Secondary School on April 18.

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