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$400,000 for Schools’ Chutney Soca Monarch
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh said Cabinet yesterday agreed to provide more than $400,000 to the National Schools’ Chutney Soca Monarch and $960,000 for the National Junior Panorama Competitions respectively. He spoke at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conferrence at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair. Gopeesingh said those initiatives were in keeping with the ministry’s strategic plan for the development of “socially and culturally adjusted children who are appreciative of the contribution of the arts to daily life, cultural identity, diversity and are in turn able to express themselves through the arts.”
Soca music, he said, was an artform that could be used as a vehicle to provide creativity and innovation and consequently the ministry sought Cabinet’s approval for funds to offset the operational cost of the competitions. Gopeesingh said Cabinet also approved the appointment of some 80 coaches to assist with literacy and numeracy development in primary schools and more than 40 in secondary schools.
Public consultations were to take place with respect to the review and reform of the secondary school curriculum, he added. He said the primary school curriculum, which was changed recently, had already produced positive results based on the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA). There was an improvement of 12 per cent in both language arts and creative writing and more than 72 per cent of pupils writing the exam were now scoring more than 50 per cent. “There have been marked improvements marked all around. Over 100 under-performing schools moved to performing level and over 100 performing schools moved to excelling level,” he added.
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