JTA President Jasford Gabriel and Education Minister Fayval Williams
The Jamaica Teacher's Association (JTA) has given the thumbs up to the interventions outlined by Education Minister Fayval Williams on Tuesday for the National Summer School Programme, which gets underway on Monday.
The interventions, which will be a mix of online and physical classes, are aimed at addressing the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Education is recruiting tutors for the programme as the JTA has said some of its members are not willing to participate, due to exhaustion.
JTA President Jasford Gabriel said the summer school programme has the organisation's blessing.
"Certainly we can appreciate and understand the need for urgent intervention given all the learning loss that has taken place and we are on board in terms of finding strategies and giving it our best and full cooperation," he said, calling the ministry's intervention plan "excellent" and "well thought out".
However, Mr. Gabriel said he was still concerned about the timing of the programme as he believes not enough students will participate.
"We still believe that September would have been the ideal time to roll out a programme like this for many many reasons... not least among which is the fact that it will almost have to be a manhunt to find these students, and even if you do find them, our experience suggests that in terms of attitude and interest in participating in the programme for any meaningful intervention and impact, will be a challenge," he reasoned.
More details soon
The Education Minister has said details will be provided to parents on how children can access the National Summer School Programme.
This will be done during the ministry's town hall meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
Mrs Williams noted that "there is a whole infrastructure in place at the ministry at a regional level to help us identify and be in touch with those students" who have not participated in any form of learning since March last year.
She said a team from the ministry will be mobilised to locate the students and this will be done in collaboration with teachers.