Jul 03, 2019 News
Even ahead of the release of 2019 National Grade Six Assessment [NGSA] results today, the Region Four Department of Education has made the bold move of naming the members of its second batch of pupils for the ‘Great Minds’ initiative.
The idea for the initiative, which was introduced in 2018 by the Ministry of Education, and has been passionately supported by the Region’s acting Regional Education Officer [REdO], Ms. Tiffany Harvey, is one geared towards improving the performance at the NGSA level.
The programme was labelled ‘Great Minds’ after REdO Harvey said that the greatest of the minds in Region Four are being moulded to bring further success to the region.
One of the facilitators of the programme, Jennel Lewis, of St Paul’s Primary said that while last year, classes commenced in September, this year they have already started for the new batch. This move was warranted, Lewis said, since it would allow for even more work to be completed.
In this regard, classes commenced last Saturday and will continue until the end of July. After a break for the month of August, classes will resume in September.
“Last year we started in September and while we are confident that several of our pupils will be among this year’s top one percent, we are working much earlier and harder with the second batch as these pupils that we are working with are already in Grade Five and come September they would be going to Grade Six,” Lewis said.
Lewis is confident that the Region will see significant success among those pupils who made up the first batch who wrote the 2019 NGSA. The teachers working on the initiative are offering their services on a voluntarily basis, as they, like the acting REdO, are confident that those selected will excel.
Samiyah Shaw of Chateau Margot Primary, who is one of the four facilitators, pointed out that when they commenced the programme in 2018, the cream of the crop were drawn randomly from the various primary schools in Region Four. She however noted that for this batch they held an examination and as such, the best 40 representing the various primary schools were selected. She revealed that the pupils were selected from the 56 primary schools within the region, thus making it more organised than last year.
“Last year pupils were selected randomly, but this year we are doing it differently, as the students wrote an exam and we have started off with 40 so far,” Shaw said.
“Our goal is to push the pupils that we are working with further academically so that they can achieve, as we believe that if we can challenge them to push themselves further, then we can achieve our ultimate objective of increasing the overall performance,” Lewis said. This view was shared by Shaw.
Meanwhile, both Lewis and Shaw said that they are eager to hear the announcement of this year’s results, noting that they intend to build on the enormous successes that Region Four has been achieving over the years.
The pupils, who have been drawn from both East Coast and East Bank, are meeting in the boardroom of the Regional Democratic Council’s Education Department. The pupils are also tutored by Malina Matthews of Annandale Primary and Atanica Gordon of Covent Garden Primary.
Harvey in an earlier interview had said that over the years the focus has been on pupils who are not that strong and who need remedial work. However, those who are known as high flyers are often forgotten, as the perception is that they will continue to do well.
“The Great Minds initiative will help in removing complacency as the pupils would know that while they are on top in their respective class or school, there are others who can challenge them, thus forcing them to do better. They would recognise that while they may have it easy at their respective school when they are faced with other pupils doing equally well or even better than them, they would recognise that there is no room for complacency. As such, they must ensure that their performances remain intact,” she had underscored.
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