Reading problem still an issue for education officials

Sonia Williams

Former Education Minister Sonia Williams says local education officials are worried that several students here are still reading below their grade level.

She said coupled with weak readers, there is also an issue regarding gender imbalance.

Williams told a conference of the Caribbean Family Literacy Program that while the Ministry of Education has seen improvements in literacy levels of students over the last ten years, there is still a lot of work to be done.

She said after three years of primary education, some 80% of students are reading at or above their grade level.

“The 20%, who have serious reading difficulties and read below their grade level must be of concern to us. We also have a grave gender imbalance for of these weak readers, we find that there are three times as many boys as girls in that category,” she said.

She said education officials are aware that while some students can tell stories by looking at pictures on books, there are others who have no exposure to books.

“It is estimated that some students begin primary schools having had several hundreds of hours exposures to books at their homes while others begin with less than 50 hour,” she said.

DNO Correspondent

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  1. Out of South City
    March 19, 2010

    Watching televison is not always reality. The same problems that occur in Dominica also occcur in the “bigger countries.” I am a witness to what I’m sharing. We need to have a sense of belonging in order to be successful. By that I mean, we are a group of people in a nation who are to help each other perform. We belong to each other.Other nations stick together such as the Chinese, Indians, Hispanics, etc., There has to be commitment, dedication, togetherness, concern and a willingness to help the less fortunate. There are times that we have the tendency to look outside of our box. We need to be concerned about our problems and find or plan ways to solve them.

    We were more of a village in the past. By that I mean we took care of each other better. We were more concerned about our children and were not as selfish. We are the ones to know what the children need and work with parents so that they in turn can work their children. There also has to be some things in place for the parents who may not know how to read to their children. Some adult education classes should be in place in every village in order that some parents can becomne literate.

  2. DominicanWallStreet
    March 18, 2010

    Please teach parents how to educate their children, many of them wait for the teachers to teach their children, when they can buy educational books, play mats, play dough amongst other educational tools from an early age. I’m not a teacher, but I watch tv enough to observe that the bigger countries invest in their population from young.

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