In an effort to aptly depict, to a great extent, this year’s Education Month theme, “child friendly homes, child friendly classrooms, quality education”, Bel Air Primary School on Monday opened the doors of its first resource and reading room.
The reading room is well equipped with the aim of contributing to the premium edification of children attending the school. Three computers, teaching aids, games, books, DVD players, a television, a CD player and radio, are among the many items made available.
The funding for this project, some one million dollars, was provided by the World Bank through the Ministry of Education.
According to headmistress Gwendolyn Lewis, the idea was conceived after conducting assessments at different levels in the school. She noted that over 60 percent of the pupils were below their present reading age.
The opening ceremony was graced with the presence of several high-level education ministry officials, teachers and parents.
Lewis said that upon the initial exploration of the project, the school’s main objective was to raise the level of literacy and eagerness to learn within the pupils. She informed that they wanted to provide the pupils with an atmosphere which is conducive for learning.
“They must at all times desire to be a part of any lesson that is taught in this centre…they must feel welcome in a child-friendly atmosphere.”
The headmistress stated that the children will be provided with adequate learning materials and strategies, which would enable them to become better readers. She said that the learning centre would be used not only for reading, but for various subject areas. ‘Broadcast to Schools’ programmes, story-telling and also introduction to the use of computer will be among the weekly activities.
Lewis added that on October 20, 2009, the administration met with the School Improvement Action Committee (SIAC) and the parent teacher association (PTA), where the secretary of the PTA obtained quotations for the project, thus items were purchased jointly.
She further informed that the school has managed to construct the walls of the reading room with help from the building department of the Ministry of Education. She said that the walls were then painted by two members of the SIAC and their two sons.The Headmistress expressed her gratitude to all who had brought the initiative to fruition
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