Melrose Primary and Junior High School on Little Kew Road in Kingston 5 will be officially handed its Enrichment Centre that was refurbished and equipped in a joint partnership between the Ministry of Education and the Digicel Foundation. “We are hoping to reach or exceed the 2015 National Literacy target of 70% with this new room on board. No child will be left behind as the Ministry of Education stipulates with the services to be provided by the Enrichment Centre refurbished and equipped by the Ministry of Education and the Digicel Foundation,” noted Ms. Jennifer Lee, Principal of the Melrose Primary and Junior High School.
The school which received a 49% Literacy mastery rate in the 2008 National Grade 4 Literacy Exams has started to use the room in a pull out programme for over 200 students taken from Grade 3, 4 and 9. Lee noted that these students are given remedial training so that they can function at or above their respective grade levels. “We are working strategically with the students with reading and numeracy difficulties and parents to ensure that their reading level reaches at or above their grade level, especially the grade 9 and 6 students we want them to be fully functional when they enter the high school system,” further added Jennifer Lee.
Students’ performances are evaluated using the Mico Diagnostic Test administered by the Mico CARE Centre. The structured test is used before the students start to use the Enrichment Centre to get a sense of their literacy levels and will be administered every quarter to chart students’ progress in word recognition, fluency in reading and their comprehension skills.
Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation outlined that the Foundation shares the same strategic vision of the Ministry of Education to attain 85% literacy and 70% numeracy by 2015. “Tackling education from the primary stage is critical to overcoming the illiteracy issues we are having in our high schools and the Digicel Foundation is committed to work alongside whatever private or public sector organization to address this issue,” further explained Major General Robert Neish.
Dr. Michele Meredith, National Special Education Coordinator for the Education Transformation Project highlighted that the Enrichment Centre is an improvement on the current concept of Resource Room. The name Enrichment, seeks to eliminate the stigma among the students who benefit from the services. She further pointed out that the centre will cater to both students who are performing below their grade levels and high performing students who need to be challenged more in the classroom.
Melrose Primary and Junior High Enrichment Centre is one of twelve Enrichment Centres to be equipped and refurbished by the Digicel Foundation through its partnership with the Ministry of Education. The programme involves equipping schools with teaching support equipment such as laptops, desktops computers, literacy and numeracy software and special preparation of teachers to use technology and strategies to achieve positive outcome in the Enrichment Centres.