A call has been made to parents to provide more support and encouragement to young men as the great disparity between the performances of boys and girls at the Grade 6 National Assessment persists.
Speaking during the announcement of the results of the examination, Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Hon Petter Saint Jean highlighted that as seen in previous years, the females continue to outperform the male.
“This my friends continue to be very worrying as our goal is to give our males the same opportunities of academic success as are available to our girls,” he said “I believe that it is incumbent upon us to find ways as an education system, as a nation to narrow the gap between the perform levels of boys and girls.”
According to the Minister, over the years the Ministry has undertaken various interventions to increase performance levels and further attempts will be made to identify the challenges that boys face.
“We’ll look into providing them with high quality teaching to address their difficulties and give effective support at the ministry level as early as possible in areas of curriculum, assessment, leadership and management.”
He added “indeed we have taken specific steps towards that with the three year OECS support programme funded by the global partnership in education. The programme builds capacity in the area of leadership, professional development, monitoring and evaluation and curriculum.
The Ministry is hopeful that training provided to teachers and principal under this professional development component will arm them with additional skills to improve learning outcome within our classrooms.
Outside of school, he appealed to the parents and the wider community to provide more assistance to our boys.
“I believe that within the homes our boys needs more attention, more one on one attention with their school work and more emotional support so that they can reach their full potential…If boys are constantly subjected to disapproval for their interest and enthusiasm they are likely to become disengaged and lag further behind.”
Hon Saint Jean urged the schools to work with and not against the imaginations, creativity and interest of young men to move them to becoming educated, participatory individuals within our communities.