(PRESS RELEASE) – The USAID/OECS Early Learners Programme is placing much emphasis on teacher professional development and training to ensure that the overall quality of reading instruction is improved at the Grade K to Grade 3 level across the OECS Member States of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education has been engaged by the Education Development Management Unit (EDMU) within the OECS Commission to develop and administer a certification course in specialised reading instruction for teachers of Grades K-3 who aspire to advance their professional skills in the teaching of reading.
This professional development initiative contributes to achieving the ELP’s overall objective of improving student learning at the end of the primary education cycle with the specific objective to improve the reading achievement levels of all learners at the early primary level (Grade K to Grade 3) in the six (6) independent Member States of the OECS. Additionally, this initiative is consistent with USAID’s Education Strategy 2011-2015 and specifically with their Goal #1 which is to improve the reading skills of 100 million students around the world.
This on and off-line comprehensive certification programme will utilise international best practices, including critical components such as:
Regular real-time application of strategies/ models/ new learning;
Observations of true-to-life teaching experiences and teacher-student interactions;
Reflections and critical thinking regarding students’ needs and reading instruction; and
How the teachers can contribute to Professional Learning Communities at their school.
The programme will incorporate a capstone project that allows the teacher to experiment with approaches aimed at addressing students’ difficulties with reading and reading instruction.
This certificate course in specialised reading instruction is one of many professional development initiatives for Grades K to 3 teachers implemented by the USAID/OECS Early Learners programme in striving to improve the early grade reading levels across six OECS Member States and is scheduled to commence January 2020.