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Japan funds ministry's mathematics development programme

Saturday, August 18, 2018

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THE Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is embarking on an initiative designed to strengthen primary and secondary students' performance in mathematics.

Dubbed 'Professional Development Programme for MOEYI Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Educators', the initiative will boost teachers' skills to better impart the subject.

Its implementation is being financed under the Government of Japan-funded Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Technical Cooperation Grant Programme.

Portfolio minister Senator Ruel Reid outlined details of the initiative during Thursday's media launch at the Mona Visitors' Lodge & Conference Centre in St Andrew.

Senator Reid thanked the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica, which was represented at the launch by Counsellor Shinichi Yamanaka, for partnering with the Government through the Technical Cooperation Grant Programme.

The minister said the Technical Cooperation Programme is an important boost to the National Mathematics Programme, as it provides additional resources to improve training in the effective use of mathematical practices, and coaching teachers to use these inputs.

The programme will be delivered through a number of training workshops, the first of which are slated for August 27 to 29 at the Royalton and Holiday Inn Resort in Trelawny.

Coaching visits will be also be conducted by a consultant until May 2019. These entail the observation of lessons at teachers colleges, as well as co-teaching and co-coaching with mathematics coaches from the ministry to ensure use of the skills imparted to the workshops' participants.

The programme will be complemented by the provision of a US$40,000 technical cooperation grant to upgrade mathematics resource rooms in 10 institutions with equipment, books and mathematics manipulatives.

The overall programme is deemed essential in supporting the Government's implementation of the new National Standards Curriculum's mathematics component.

Senator Reid said the initiative being embarked on is one component of the extended Technical Cooperation Agreement under the joint IDB-funded Education Sector Transformation Programme.

He emphasised that the professional development programme is crucial not only for improving students' performance mathematics, but also Jamaica's workforce.

Against this background, Senator Reid said the Government of Jamaica and the ministry are “deeply appreciative of the collaborative work which our international partners have invested in the development of Jamaica's education sector”.

“We recognise that mathematics competencies are among the more critical skills that every worker will need to be successful (at) in the 21st century. Success in today's world is integrally linked to competency in the subject,” the minister noted.

He further said the subject provides “vital underpinning” of the knowledge economy, deemed essential in the physical sciences, technology, business, financial services and many areas of information and communications technology.

“Proficiency in mathematics is, therefore, an essential tool to enable us to navigate our way in the world around us,” he said.

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