Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Primary education support project starts tomorrow
Jamaica Observer
Monday, March 31, 2003


THE 'LitKids 2003' competition, the education ministry's primary education support project (PESP), geared at stimulating interest in the acquisition of literacy skills among primary school students in Grades 1 to 3, starts tomorrow.

Children can participate in the competition by creating pictures of themselves and their families and writing five sentences about the picture.

Entries will be judged first at the school, regional and national level, with the students, teachers and schools selected at the national level being eligible for trophies, vacations, computers and other prizes.

Education Minister Maxine Henry-Wilson, who officially launched the competition last week, said parents and teachers must encourage children to see reading as part of everyday life.

"It is very important that children do not see reading as a chore, but that they really enjoy it, that it becomes a part of their lifestyle," she remarked.

"The same way that they see dancehall music as an indispensable part of their day, we want them to see learning through reading as an indispensable part of their day, something that they do as they breathe," she said. According to the education minister, this can only be achieved if parents and educators allow children to see reading as an interesting and relevant activity, and "not just an activity for nerds as some people think it is".

All entries for the 'LitKids 2003' competition must be sent to regional offices of the ministry, accompanied by an official entry form available at schools, and must be on sheets of paper measuring 56cm x 36.5cm. The deadline for all entries is May 1, and all Grade 1 students across the island are being encouraged to participate.

The competition is one of the programmes established under PESP, a programme adopted by the Government to revamp the nation's primary schooling system. One of the goals of PESP, the ministry said, is to have all primary school children in Jamaica attain basic literacy skills by Grade 4, through exposure, stimulation and regular assessment.

To do this, PESP provides resources to the ministry and to schools to improve educational performance, management of the education system and the physical infrastructure of schools.