Education Minister, Octavia Alfred, says the results of the Grade Six National Assessment (G6NA) indicate that reading is fundamental to students’ success at that exam.
According to the minister who spoke during the presentation of the 2021 G6NA results on Monday, students who are competent at reading after 3 years of primary school, do better in the G6NA.
She said when reading levels are low after 3 years of primary school education, performance is negatively impacted.
“We must therefore, recommit not only to raising levels of reading in the classroom, but more so to engender an early love for reading in the home,” Alfred stated.
The former secondary school principal encouraged parents and guardians to do their part to prepare students for long-term academic success.
“Help grow a love for reading among our children by exposing them to books, by reading to them and by encouraging them to choose a book over the television or other forms of entertainment,” Alfred advised.
Alfred said in moving forward, her ministry will continue to undertake reviews, targeting schools where performance levels are significantly low.
“These reviews, we hope, will assist us in determining the possible reason for underperformance as well as to devise solutions,” she said.
She said further that learning support officers, district education officers, curriculum officers and other support staff within the Ministry of Education will continue to make supervisory visits to monitor students performance as well as provide assistance in instruction for improved teaching and learning.
Meanwhile, Alfred revealed that her Ministry recently commissioned a working group comprising teachers, principals and staff from the Ministry of Education with the sole focus of studying the issue with the hope of arriving at practical recommendations for addressing this challenge.
She said the group has had a number of meetings with various stakeholders including students.
“The working group is currently at the data gathering stage where information is being collected from teachers, school principals, students, parents, community members and industry stakeholders among others,” she revealed.
Alfred went on to say that work on this initiative will continue into the next school year and hope to engage the public soon on ways her ministry can create more learning opportunities that resonate with boys and help to improve their achievement levels.
“This intervention program is necessary because we need to identify the challenges that our boys face and provide high quality teaching to address their difficulties and give effective support at the ministry level as early as possible in areas of curriculum, assessment, leadership and management,” the minister concluded.