Jamaica to boost teaching of the sciences

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Jamaica to boost teaching of the sciences

Saturday, January 18, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Jamaica is looking to introduce a microscience approach to the teaching of science subjects.

This move is being supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), under the Japan-funded technical cooperation initiative, for the engagement of a consultant to deliver training in the microscience techniques and the provision of microscience kits.

An estimatedUS$120,000 has been allocated for activities related to the support of teacher-training institutions, particularly as it relates to science education.

Microscience education is a practical approach to experiencing science that was made popular under the UNESCO Global Microscience Project.

The project contributes to capacity-building in areas where no laboratory facilities are available, while enhancing the ability of institutions that have laboratories.

Jamaica is the first country in the Caribbean to introduce this approach, which allows teachers to use miniature, low-cost apparatus contained in microscience kits to teach science subjects.

International Microscience Consultant, Petal Jetoo, said that several teachers from The Mico University College; Bethlehem, Sam Sharpe, St Joseph's, Shortwood, and Moneague teachers' colleges; and the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), participated in a recent three-day residential workshop.

They were introduced to techniques on how they could infuse and design lesson plans that use microscience experiments.

Acting Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr Kasan Troupe, in hailing the initiative, said that microscience is a practical approach to ensuring that students are competent in the sciences, even in cases where they do not have access to labs or such facilities are not fully equipped.

“We have been on a path to improve our labs and to upgrade our facilities. Until we get there, we have to find other strategies to make sure that our students are not denied of any experience to make sure that they are successful,” Troupe said.

The Japan-funded technical cooperation initiative also supports the strengthening of early-childhood modernisation initiatives centred on innovation in teaching, development of curriculum and materials and regulation of the sector; teacher-training institutions in strengthening internal quality assurance and capacity-building for teacher education in numeracy and science, and provides technical support to the Division of School Services (DSS).

–JIS


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