Against a backdrop of continuing disquiet among teachers, Minister of Education Ronald Jones today promised to hold a press conference next week to address issues currently affecting the school system.
He made the announcement after touring a site at Oldbury, St Philip where one of six proposed Maria Holder Nursery Schools will be constructed.
Jones said the programme was on track and revealed that the first school will be officially opened in September 2016 at Gall Hill Christ Church. The second school at Oldbury will follow in January 2017.
“We are very happy,” Jones told reporters. “We will be fully ready to open from the first of September, just one or two things they are working on now but we are very happy about the progress.”
“They are about a month or so ahead of schedule and we like to hear words like that,” he added.
The school will serve 150 students and over 100 applications have been received already.
Chief Education Officer Karen Best said the school at Gall Hill, would be the first nursery school in the island focusing on Science and Mathematics.
“This school will be the pilot of a new way of introducing Science and Mathematics for these children,” she told the media.
“The Minister and I visited Washington for a consultation looking at early childhood education and we are going to be rolling out the curriculum differently at this school.”
Best added: “The children will be exposed to the Mathematical and Science concepts very early and therefore this school should be shining very brightly very soon.”
Jones said the Ministry of Education has been preparing teachers to work specifically with the nursery students through the provision of training in early childhood care and development.
“I hope the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College will soon move towards a Bachelor’s programme, which not only caters to teachers but to those who are in early childhood care, so Child Care Board and all of their personnel can also benefit from the kind of programming . . .,” he said. (DB)