Despite uncertainty surrounding a date for the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools, the Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams, says the National Homework and Extra Lessons Programme is being fine-tuned in anticipation of the return to that learning modality.
The programme is being designed to provide more teaching and learning opportunities for children, especially those from economically disadvantaged homes where access to the regular school engagement was a challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a Kiwanis Club Virtual Meeting on Thursday, Williams admitted that many students have fallen behind, but assured that the programme will commence as soon as the ministry is given clearance.
“We talked about and will be implementing as soon as our children are back in the face-to-face mode, a national homework and national extra lessons classes to help to make up the gap in our children because we know they would have lost quite a lot in terms of the time they would have been out,” the minister said.
“So we will get that going once we are back in the face-to-face mode where our children can have extra lessons,” she insisted.
Williams said “extra lessons have been a staple” in the Jamaican education system.
“… But unfortunately it’s only been available to persons (and) parents who can afford to pay that extra money for extra lessons,” she indicated.
Last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness disclosed that Williams had placed a submission before Cabinet to consider the reopening of public schools for some categories of students.
A COVID-19 sub-committee of Cabinet was to meet on Friday to discuss the submission. The outcome of those deliberations have not so far been disclosed publicly.
The current COVID-19 measures expire on Thursday, October 28.