A presentation focusing on the Extended Programme of the Primary School Achievement Certificate (PSAC) assessment was held yesterday at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute in Moka. A booklet entitled, 'Extended Programme - Philosophy, Pedagogy, Implementation and Outcomes' was launched on that occasion.
Present at the event, the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, underlined that the Programme aims at giving each child the opportunity to find his orientation and grow into a responsible and productive citizen.
The Extended Programme, the Minister pointed out, caters for students not having attained the essential competencies at the PSAC assessment by providing continuous support over four years to complete the Grade 7 to 9 curriculum. It uses innovative pedagogies aimed at enhancing the self-esteem and self-confidence of the children, she highlighted.
Minister Dookun-Luchoomun recalled that the guiding principles of inclusion, equity and quality underpin the reform of the education system which has as objective to provide multiple opportunities and pathways to all learners. The efforts of educators is therefore important in providing learners with an adequate learning environment and support leading to their holistic development, she stated. The Minister urged educators to sustain their efforts and keep up the momentum with the same dedication and passion.
The Extended Programme, the Minister indicated, is based on the philosophy of inclusion, which meets the needs of every learner to feel accepted, valued, and safe and is in line with the aim of the Nine-Year Continuous Basic Education, that is, providing equal opportunity for schooling for all until the minimum school leaving age. It seeks to change the way students are supported and taught from the Foundation Grade 7 to the Extended Grade 9+, over a period of four years, thus helping to build a healthier and more inclusive society, she added.
According to Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun, the Extended Programme will ensure that a quality education makes provision for all, keeping in view the individual differences of the learners. She reiterated Government's commitment to provide a system of education that ensures fairness for everyone irrespective of historical antecedent, culture or social class, and where learners receive an education that fits their needs and which provides the opportunity for advancement and for future employment.
The Extended Programme caters for learners who require additional and appropriate support to overcome their learning difficulties. It is based on a diagnostic of learners' difficulties which also identifies their needs in order to pitch the level of teaching at an appropriate level. Teaching learners in the Extended Programme implies using an approach that enables students to, namely: overcome their learning difficulties; reinforce basic knowledge of literacy and numeracy as a priority; and, enhance basic skills needed to ease further learning.