BICKERSTETH, St James - Principal of the Bickersteth Infant and Primary School in St James, Vivian Douglas has hailed the stakeholders for taking the bold step in continuing the Music - Perfect Pitch for A Sound Education project at his school.
"We have benefited tremendously from the programme and we have seen where it has really foster growth and development in the learning environment. Teachers and students are quite enthused. It has also impacted on the community, as the students are playing music at community functions," Douglas explained.
The programme is a joint initiative between the Grace Kennedy -owned First Global Bank and First Global Financial Services, who are providing funding to the tune of over $3 million for the 2013/2014 phase two segment, with the Ministry of Education providing the necessary expertise to see to the full potential of the project.
In October 2011, the programme was rolled out in six schools in St James, Manchester and Kingston, following researches, which showed that students who are exposed to music develop sound literacy and numeracy skills.
The initiative was geared towards grade three students, whose performance saw marked improvements in all the schools during the one-year trial run. Having witnessed the level of success among students, as well as their personal involvement in the programme, teachers had been calling for its resumption since last October.
And speaking at the launch of phase two of the programme, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites lauded GraceKennedy for the initiative.
"With this spectacular contribution that this programme has witnessed so far, it is to be congratulated," Thwaites emphasised. "The question in my mind is how are we going to take this successful model and extend it throughout the entire education system with 800 primary schools in Jamaica."
Against this background, Thwaites called on the private sector to emulate First Global's model, in an bid to enable more children to beat illiteracy.