Minister of Education, Dr. Tim Gopeesingh met with School Supervisors and approximately 500 principals of primary and secondary schools at the National Energy Skills Centre in Couva on Tuesday, 6th Dec., 2015.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to congratulate school leaders on the excellent work they have done to raise the academic performance of the nation’s students and to outline the Cabinet approved establishment of the ‘After School Study Centre Programme’ in 444 primary schools and 125 secondary schools in Trinidad.
Minister Gopeesingh noted that despite the unprecedented academic success of students in SEA, CSEC and CAPE examinations in 2014, there was still an unacceptable number of students that were not succeeding academically and were consequently ‘at risk’ of falling into delinquency. The fact that there currently exists only 14 homework centres in the country led the Cabinet to approve the Ministry of Education’s recommendation to convert this limited programme into a full-fledged national programme, which will be eventually expanded to Tobago.
The objectives of the After School Study/Homework Centres Programme are:
• To provide safe and secure spaces to students from varying socioeconomic backgrounds
• To improve the social and emotional development of the child by providing a setting in which a child may make friends and improve their academic performance
• To improve the level of motivation of the students by providing positive role models and forming a quality mentoring relationship between the supervisor and child
In an effort to augment this policy, the Minister informed the meeting that Cabinet had approved the recruitment of 280 Remedial teachers to be assigned to 100 primary and 100 secondary schools, focusing on Standards 4 and 5 students over the next several months. Additionally, 300 substitute teachers have been retained, with Cabinet having approved the recruitment of 500.
Principals were asked to identify weak students and two classrooms with the capacity to accommodate 30 students each for secondary schools and one such classroom for primary schools. The Minister also announced that a ‘Dial-a-Teacher’ programme would soon be inaugurated where toll-free lines provided by TSTT would enable primary and secondary students to receive homework assistance in math, English language and science.
For further information please contact the Corporate Communications Division, Ministry of Education: ph:628-1581