By Latrishka Thomas
Primary school teacher Anthea S. Thomas now boasts as being one of the very few Antiguans to publish a textbook.
Yesterday, the Jonas Road resident launched her very first book series called Primary Social Studies for Antigua and Barbuda.
Thomas told OBSERVER media that this achievement was birthed by the desire to fill a void – the nonexistence of an effective social studies textbook.
“It started because constantly I had to be creating the same work sheets every time the students came into my class, because I was teaching the same grades and the topics were basically the same, so I would create a worksheet; and the fact that there weren’t any social studies workbook at the time and the textbooks made no sense with what we actually had to cover. It was really the workbook I intended originally, but then it blossomed into these series of books,” the Freemansville primary school teacher shared.
Thomas said her journey toward publishing this collection of books began in 2010 when her fellow colleagues started requesting copies of her worksheets. After that, she said, “Each year I made revisions and added other sets, but from the time Collins contacted me it took just about a year. I was contacted by them in May of last year and the whole process started in September of last year and the books were published in June of this year. Because I had already done most of the work, it was just to edit and make sure everything was accurate and in order.”
The book series, which was published by Collins Publishers, consists of a workbook and student book for grades three to six. It will be made available to the schools by the Board of Education.
And, as stated by Director of Education Clare Browne, “the Ministry of Education is about empowering our teachers in this way and a myriad of ways, and once we hear that a teacher is taking a bold step to do something, we are always willing to support.”
The Ministry therefore pounced on the opportunity to have Thomas’ books as part of the school curriculum.
“Certainly, the launch of today’s [Friday] Collins Primary Social Studies text for Antigua and Barbuda is about presenting our primary schools with quality information, quality material that our students could benefit tremendously from. When the Assistant Director of Education, Mrs. Beverly Allen called me some time ago and asked me if Collins Publishers were to publish Mrs. Thomas’ Social Studies text, if the Ministry of Education would be willing to have that text as one of the textbooks that we would use, we would have the Board of Education procure for use in our schools, I did not hesitate to say ‘definitely’,” Browne added.