The Honourable Anthony Garcia said the “Leading for Literacy Now III” is imparting critical reading skills to students at the primary school level which will benefit them for the rest of their lives. The media launch of the third phase of the literacy programme occurred at the Ministry of Education’s Head Office, St. Clair on Tuesday April 26, 2016. The project is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education, the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, NALIS and Republic Bank Ltd.
Minister Garcia said his Ministry fully supports the continued implementation of the programme as it is proving to be a success in helping teachers to help their students learn how to read. He noted that teachers are lamenting the fact that there are still students who have difficulties reading when they enter secondary school. Addressing principals, teachers, sponsors and senior Ministry officials at the media launch, he said, “I want to share the views of the Curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education, in that they have endorsed, fully this programme, and it is the view of the Director of Curriculum, that this programme has assisted in the delivery of literacy in our schools.”
According to Minister Garcia, “Far too often in our school system, we hear complaints from our teachers of the paucity of the reading skills of our students and many of our secondary school principals and teachers have contended that after a child spends seven years at the level of the primary school, when he graduates into the secondary school, he should be well equipped to deal with all reading materials. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Too often, many of our secondary students cannot ready properly.”
He said the programme which focuses on teaching foundation literacy skills to Infants, One and Two students, ensures that when those students move up to Standards One, Two, Three, Four and Five, they will be well equipped with the skills to be competent readers. Minister Garcia said the “Leading for Literacy Now!” also stresses stakeholder involvement, particularly parental involvement, as a critical factor that influences the development of literacy skills in students. He urged parents to make available books and other reading materials in the home which he believes will help children develop a love for reading.