Homework Assistance Programme In It’s Third Year
July 16, 2009
The improved performance by primary school students on Nevis in the annual Test of Standards has been attributed to the Homework Assistance Programme, a flagship plan that was implemented by the Ministry of Social Development three years ago.
Minister responsible for Social Development on Nevis Hon. Hensley Daniel told the department of Information on Wednesday, that the Programme which targeted students from Grade 3-6, was introduced to improve the level of student performance in the annual national examination.
“This is the third year of the programme but you notice there has been a significant improvement, qualitatively in the performance on these tests between 2007, 2008 and 2009.
“There is no rocket science involved in that, prior to that the level of performance was not as high and so you have an improved level of performance as a result of the Homework Assistance Programme”¦ we are pretty sure that there is a direct correlation between the Homework Assistance Programme and the performance on the Test of Standards,” he said.
The Programme which is administered by trained teachers throughout the island had benefitted about 400 students.
Mr. Daniel noted that there has been mounting interest in the programme from secondary school students but the programme had to continue to be grounded at the community level.
“We are satisfied that we can add to it but we will do so guardedly because we think in most programmes you need about five years to be able to tie all the results together.
“So in the next two years we will continue to see results but we will give ourselves some time before we jump to adding the homework assistance in high school. You want to clearly get maximum results from this one and then you add to it,” he said.
The Social Development Minister said the Programme had also impacted the students in their approach to school and their level of interest in school had increased.
He explained that through the Programme, the Ministry had been able to tone down some of the hostility towards lessons and classes because the homework assistance had provided a second opportunity in the afternoons for students to improve their performance.
In the meantime, the Ministry had set its sights on providing equipment at the island’s community centres as an added boost to the programme.
“We are equipping the community centers with libraries, we are writing projects to automate the libraries, we started the “Reading Starts With Us” programme to bring parents on board with reading.
“The idea really, is to correct the deficiencies in the classroom especially in Mathematics and English so that the children can continue to do well,” he said.
The new programme is scheduled to commence early September 2009 and Mr. Daniel urged parents to allow their children to participate.