The primary school curriculum in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is returning to an era past – at least as far as reading is concerned.
Reading will once again be a stand-alone subject in elementary schools, Minister of Education, St. Clair “Jimmy” Prince told Parliament during last week’s Budget Debate.
Prince said that reading is a problem in some of the nation’s schools, affecting students’ performance, all the way up to their secondary school exit examination.
Therefore, his ministry has instructed the nation’s primary schools to teach reading in every grade as a separate subject.
And, Terrance Ollivierre, opposition spokesperson on education welcomes the minister’s announcement, telling Parliament that he agrees that reading should be taught separately in schools.
“…I sat here last year, and I heard … they’re doing it after school, and some children don’t want to stay. And I think doing it at that time will create a stigma…” said Ollivierre, a former teacher.
“I taught at both levels, the secondary and the primary level. For years, there were students at the Common Entrance level who came to class, my class, Mr. Speaker and some couldn’t read.
“But as a teacher, you have to learn how to divide your class and help those who cannot read in order that at the end of the period, they would be successful.
“And Mr. Speaker, some of those children who we said were at the risk level were able to do so well and pass that exam. It only proves that if we do what we are supposed to do that we can reap success in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in literacy and numeracy,” Ollivierre said.