The new wing at the Francis Lettsome Primary School.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Education Department are actively exploring methods to be implemented in the 2012/2014 school year to readily assist primary school students who are late bloomers.
The issue was raised during the National Democratic Party (NDP) radio programme last week by a resident.
"The children that you intend to allow to stay in the primary school who you will be sending the special educators to work with, is there a backup plan for those children in the event that they are unable to pass the Primary Five but they are too old for the primary school? I think the age is 14, is there a backup plan where they are some sort of technical training for those children," a resident asked the Hon. Myron Walwyn, Education and Culture Minister.
In response the Minister firstly clarified that though its age 14 year, the Minister under the Education Act can use his/her discretion to let the student go beyond that age.
He said the Ministry does recognize that it has to do something for those students who he referred to as late bloomers. "I would want to call late bloomers or persons who we haven´t quite figure out how yet to teach them. We are under discussions now in terms of a concept."
Minister Walwyn stated that earlier this year at the Ministry's planning day he charged the Education Officers to come up with a plan as to how the Ministry and the department will deal with those students who are having difficulties.
"So that we can get them back into the mainstream schools either to take the technical track when we establish the technical school if in fact that is a track they want to go on, or whether they could be reabsorbed into the Elmore Stoutt High School or one of the other secondary schools," he stated.
The Minister said there is one particular method that they are keenly looking at.
"One of the things that seems to be leading is perhaps a post primary concept where they can be tested maybe another two years or so after and be brought in, but I don´t want to be held to that...That is one of things that we are floating."
The Education Minister said there is no doubt that they must tackle the issue with urgency.
"But your question I think the root of it is what we are going to do about those children and we have to do something about it and we are working on our plans for that, certainly we are late for this September but next September will not pass us by," Minister Walwyn assured.