The Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation has concluded the second stage of a two-year recovery programme to help students “catch-up” with learning lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the eruption of La Soufriere.

Having pinpointed some areas in which there is need for support, the Ministry has, over the last two years, partnered with several agencies to put suitable recovery measures in place. One such strategy is the ROLES initiative, funded by UNICEF.

“ROLES” is an acronym for Recovery of Learning and Emotional and psychosocial Support. As the name suggests, the initiative is not only designed to help with the knowledge and skills that students have missed, but it also takes into consideration the social, emotional, and mental wellbeing of the students. Educators, families, and school communities are also recognized as critical players in the education recovery process.

This year’s three-week vacation programme engaged about two thousand (2000) children, primarily those in need of remedial work and those entering the exit levels in the new school year. The students attended sessions from 11 to 29 July, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily, and benefitted from a range of academic and non-academic activities, as well as traditional and modern learning strategies.

Attendees to the ROLES vacation programme had a platform to improve  their literacy skills, to reinforce their understanding of mathematical concepts, to learn basic survival skills such as how to roast a breadfruit and how to find your way if lost, to engage in creative activities like art & craft, and to build their collaborative skills while learning about basic sportsmanship.

The ROLES programme is projected to extend into the upcoming academic year, focusing on:

  • Building core skills through literacy and numeracy
  • Enhancing science, psychosocial and life skills
  • Understanding special education and disabilities  
  • Improving self-awareness and personal development through music education