By Shermain Bique-Charles
Education officials here have already admitted that every child has the ability to learn, but the way children learn and how much knowledge they can absorb can vary considerably — especially for a child with special needs or those deemed “at risk”. This is why the Ministry of Education in Antigua and Barbuda has decided that in 2020, students with special needs will be given, according to Director of Education Clare Browne, “special attention”. An at-risk student is a term used to describe a student who requires temporary or ongoing intervention in order to succeed academically. Figuring out how to provide the best education for a child is never easy because what’s best for one child may not be best for another; however Browne believes this new strategic imperative is the best way to go. “We will be using Diagnostic Reading Assessment, or DAR, to assess literacy levels of these students at the secondary level while we continue with the Early Learners Programme, or ELP, at the primary level”. Browne explained that the data collected from these programmes will be used to determine the intervention strategies that will be employed to improve the students’ learning.
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