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Sydney Pagon High begins STEM transformation Sept

Monday, August 18, 2014    

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The Ministry of Education said it is far advanced with plans to transform Syndey Pagon High School in St Elizabeth into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) academy.

"Approximately $20 million is being spent initially to upgrade the science labs, classrooms and library facilities to receive approximately 100 grade seven students who will commence the STEM programme in September," the ministry said in a news release yesterday.

"The students will be segmented into four separate classes and receive lessons skewed towards mathematics and the sciences, along with other subjects," the ministry added.

"The Sydney Pagon STEM Academy will be the first of its kind in Jamaica since Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites announced plans earlier this year to establish a number of institutions with a curriculum emphasising science, technology, engineering and mathematics," the news release stated.

According to the ministry, this is a strategic response to the need for more highly qualified technology graduates for the job market.

"The STEM academies will serve to expand the capacity and diversity of the workforce and prepare more students for the jobs of the future," the release quoted Minister Thwaites.

The ministry said that, as part of the preparatory activities, academic and administrative staff have been exposed to intense training focusing on the integration of STEM into the curriculum, project-based learning, alternative assessment, and customer relations.

The training sessions have been facilitated by the HEART Trust/NTA, the University of Technology, Jamaica and the Core Curriculum Unit in the Ministry of Education.

The ministry also said it has conducted sensitisation workshops with parents of the new students, parents from feeder schools, and members of the community.

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