Special-needs students to get online help

Wednesday November 11, 2009

About 10,000 students with special needs will be given assistance, through the GoGSAT online programme, in preparation for various nationally administered examinations.Sponsored by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in association with GoSAT, children from the Child Development Agency (CDA), at-risk schools, and schools in community-based policing areas will be involved in practice sessions, leading up to the exams through a programme dubbed ‘Practice for Success’.The exams are Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), Grade Four Literacy Test, Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT) and Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC).

Bring a change

Speaking at the launch for the programme recently, Shalette East, who spearheaded the GoGSAT programme, said in addition to helping the less fortunate to succeed, the programme is a way to bring changes in society. “These are the children who wouldn’t be able to afford the programme. We think we need to bring this programme to the children in state care, which would help them in their assignments and examination preparation,” she said. “Also, we want to have at-risk students interacting with the police in an effort to bridge the divide between students and the police.”

Assistant Commissioner of Police John Mclean said the JCF is dedicated to promoting community safety, and the GoSAT programme has helped the force to progress in several ways.”Young people particularly young men, who fail to achieve academically are less likely to be employed; they become easy prey for gangs and gunmen bent on criminality,” he noted.

Educational improvement

Mclean further added that, by assisting these young individuals to improve their educational levels of attainment, the JCF is steering them away from a life of crime and towards a position of being able to make a meaningful contribution to society. He said the JCF is aware and concerned about the lack of communication and trust that exists in many communities, but the community safety and security courseware on makes a significant contribution towards addressing this problem.In the meantime, director of policy and planning at the CDA, Audrey Budhi, said the institution is particularly excited about the project, as the 600 wards who will be doing the exams need the help to pursue excellence and exceed expectations

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