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Minister Samuel is Improving Literacy and Numeracy in Public and Subsidized Schools on Sint Maarten

Minister Rodolphe Samuel has declared that it is essential to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of all students in public and subsidized schools on Sint Maarten. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports will begin making these improvements with the introduction of a Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.

The Government of Sint Maarten is striving to improve literacy and numeracy by implementing a Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. This strategy will be further elaborated upon, based on data to be obtained from the introduction of (international) standardized learning assessments. These learning assessments are scheduled to take place in Primary Education as of this school year (2022-2023) and subsequently in Secondary Education from 2025. The primary benefits of introducing such assessments are:

1. Standardized learning assessments lead educators to plan and prepare age and developmentally appropriate activities for all children based on the child’s educational level, individual needs, and interests.

2. Administering standardized learning assessments at early ages plays a significant role in the early detection and prevention of possible learning barriers experienced by the child.

The introduction of (international) standardized assessments will begin within Primary Education, as early ages are seen as the best period to introduce literacy and numeracy interventions, because it is the period where students are learning to read and write. This intervention seeks to strengthen both literacy and numeracy proficiency to enhance academic progress throughout the student’s educational journey. To ensure this progress is constantly measured and enhanced, the implementation of standardized learning assessments will continue into Secondary Education. Thus, providing data to continuously measure improvements in literacy and numeracy proficiency country wide.

The overall expectations of this endeavor are:

· improved literacy, numeracy, and STEAM proficiency through tailor-made interventions for students’ literacy and numeracy.

· enhanced availability of aggregated and disaggregated data for the development of evidence-based policies that influence curriculum development and teaching and learning practices; and

· ability to form comparisons across countries and the region.

The Department of Education, in collaboration with the Division for Educational Innovation and the Division of Examinations, is proud to begin implementing this strategy, by introducing standardized learning assessments.

The development of the strategy to improve Literacy and Numeracy is expected to have far reaching positive effects in education. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) in collaboration with Schools Boards, and other pertinent stakeholders will continue to work towards the further development and implementation of this strategy, in the best interest of the children on Sint Maarten.
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