Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): A Reading Intervention Programme is being implemented in schools across the Federation, says Minister of Education, the Honourable Jonel Powell, during his contribution to the Budget Debate on December 18.
The programme is designed to boost the development of reading and literacy skills in low achieving students for whom regular classroom instruction is insufficient so that their level of progress and achievement improves thus increasing their ability to access the curriculum and work independently, he said.
The Reading Intervention Programme is being implemented in a total of 18 schools, that is, 17 public primary schools, as well as the Cotton Thomas Comprehensive School.
There is a total of 25 reading intervention teachers. One will be stationed in smaller schools and two in larger ones.
Minister Powell said that the lowest achieving students in grades one to six are enrolled in the programme. Approximately 435 students are currently enrolled.
He added that the reading intervention teachers are working with classroom teachers to develop an individual education plan for each student who is enrolled.
Students are taught individually or in small groups depending on their needs. Sessions are generally 30 to 60 minutes long depending on the need of the students, he said.
In terms of training, the reading intervention teachers completed a 12-week certificate course in the teaching of reading undertaken with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and funded by the OECS Early Learners Programme, said the minister. They were also trained to administer the Caribbean Assessment Battery Reading, which is a diagnostic assessment to identify students reading levels, their strengths and their weaknesses.
The minister stated that additional training in the form of professional development sessions were held twice monthly and will continue to further enhance the teacher’s ability to cater to the student’s needs.