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Director of QUADS comments on literacy program

The Ministry of Education is going beyond just observing Literacy Day in order to stimulate children to learn how to read. Back in 2015, the Ministry of Education launched a literacy campaign as a part of a national literacy strategy.  The campaign encourages families to read aloud to their children.  John Newport, Director of Quality Assurance Development Service (Quads), in the Ministry of Education, spoke with Love News about how the campaign.

John Newport, Director of Quality Assurance Development Service (Quads)

“In the last few years we have changed the emphasis to be looking at what happens at home because really there is only a limited amount that any teacher or school can do. Literacy development really does begin as soon as a child is born and some people say even in the womb. Until we reach a point where parents reading to their children at home, engaging the children in pretend writing and real writing and drawing and scribbling when they are still babies and infants until we see that in every home we will always going to struggle with our target that to make sure by standard one every child can read. So the reason we hold these events is to really try to get the message out to everybody. Its if you have a child at home who is anywhere from 0-7, and that could be your child a sibling or anybody else if you really want to help develop literacy all you need to do is sit down on a regular basis and read to that child and everybody in the country does that I guarantee you we will come close to solving the literacy issue within five to ten years.”

Newport went on to speak about the steps taken in the classrooms to ensure that every child learns how to read.

John Newport, Director of Quality Assurance Development Service (Quads)

“We are moving towards trying to make sure that all our preschool teachers and our lower division teachers have the technical knowledge so they know how children learn to read and they know if a child is struggling to learn to read what they should do about it. For example what we have doing from 2005 began as small scale pilots only now are we really able to say we are pushing some of these developments trying to reach every primary school in the country so 300 schools a thousand lower division teachers and the like. In terms of progress some of the initiatives that happened in Belize were actually recently sited in an international report looking at literacy development  in developing countries and it said that the program in Belize and the Caribbean was one of the programs which had shown success in making sure that teachers are better able to instruct children in literacy.”