Dougan happy with Grade 6 reading level
August 4, 2006
Dougan happy with Grade 6 reading level

After announcing the data from this year’s Common Entrance results, that 46% of the students were reading at a satisfactory Grade 6 level or above, compared to the dismal 18% in last year’s results, Chief Education Officer (CEO) in the Ministry of Education Susan Dougan declared, “We now have a culture of learning in St. Vincent and the Grenadines!”

Dougan, along with other Education Ministry officials was hosting a press briefing last Monday, July 31st at the Ministry’s headquarters to update the media about the progress the Ministry had made one year after the full implementation of Universal Secondary Education in the nation.{{more}}

Admitting that the implementation of this bold policy has come with hitches, Dougan told the press that the Ministry is by no means daunted by these challenges, but instead has been putting, and will continue to put things in place to deal with various areas of concern.

High on this agenda of challenge preparedness was training and Dougan went to lengths to highlight the Ministry’s focus on this area. A focus that saw 120 training sessions being held from February 2005 to now. The CEO said that emphasis was placed on preparing teachers to deal with the diverse backgrounds and the learning challenges presented by students. Teachers were also prepared to deal with the new demands of the curriculum. The methodology of teaching students with disabilities, literacy training, and issues of counseling and information technology was also part of the training package given to teachers.

In addition to the teachers, principals and deputies were provided with 20 workshops during this same period dealing with key areas such as school leadership and school development planning. And even parents were included as sessions were held dealing with homework scheduling and children supervision. Ministry officials were not to be left out, as they were exposed to modules of places where universal education was successfully implemented.

A comparative overview shows that while 1,802 students entered Form 1 in secondary schools in the 2001-02 school year, the 2005-06 school year recorded over a 100% jump to 3,715. To accommodate the larger intake, CEO Dougan reported that 112 classrooms were added to secondary schools, 49 more teachers employed while 45 teachers were re-deployed.