Ministry looking to fix reading problem
Press Release
February 11, 2020

Ministry looking to fix reading problem

The Ministry of Education has sent out an instruction to the Head Teachers of this country’s primary schools that reading is to be taught as a separate subject.

Education Minister, St Clair Prince, shared that information with the public as he contributed to debate last week on the 2020 budget.

The Minister acknowledged that “reading is a problem in some schools” and that it affects performance up the education chain, resulting in some students not doing as well in their CSEC examinations as they possibly could.

The Minister did not state what study or studies served as the basis for the decision, but indicated that the instruction letter requires Head Teachers of the nation’s 71 primary schools to teach reading as a separate subject “in every grade” in the primary schools, a practise that obtained in a previous era.

A number of schools, apparently in a bid to employ strategies to tackle reading deficiencies, and generate greater interest among their students, have instituted “hats off to reading” activities, and refurbished their libraries, with two such primary schools reopening libraries in the past few weeks.

At their February 5 re-opening ceremony, Head Teacher of the Brighton Methodist School, Bernadete Latchman, shared that only 24 per cent of the children at that particular institution were reading at their age level.

Currently, reading is taught across the curriculum, rather than as a separate subject.

The Minister said a special committee is being set up to monitor the outcomes.