A former educator believes that for Barbadians to remain highly literate, teaching needs to get back to its core elements. That is, for emphasis to be placed on writing and composition.
So said, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Senator Harry Husbands, who today applauded the publication of the Future Star Planner. Speaking to teachers and students at the Bay Primary School in the Bayland, St Michael, this morning.
Husbands alluded to influence technology had had on the deterioration of not only handwriting, but as well as of composition and essay writing –– which he stressed was now a major factor in the weakness many children were experiencing at the Common Entrance level of their schooling up to CXC and further to university level.
The Future Star Planner, he said, could be the opportunity needed to improve these deficits.
“It presents a chance for teachers to focus on writing and reading” –– these two skills which he believed was fast disappearing today as more and more technology was being used.
“It is low-tech, and to some people that may be a disadvantage; but I think that it offers us an opportunity as teachers, as educators, to go back and refocus on some of the core elements in the discipline.
“I read an article in the New York Times that said that [technology mogul] Steve Jobs . . . with his own children at home they lived a relatively low-technology life. There is nothing wrong with going back to the basics of this art, this science, this skill that we call teaching and learning.
“There is a lot of evidence today that would suggest that the skill of writing is closely connected . . . and assists in the actual thinking and thought processes of children. So we can go back, with this planner and teach that art of writing again, with the full confidence that with teaching and writing we are also opening up areas of these young children’s brain that will assist them in all the other areas that they are involved in at school,” Husbands said.
The Future Star Planner will be available at primary schools across the island. It costs $25 and a portion of the moneys goes back to the schools.