JAD Urges Parents to Enrol Deaf or HardofHearing Children

“At the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, education is our core focus, so ensuring that students are enrolled and adequately supported in schools is critical for us. Currently, we are at 50 per cent capacity and across the system we have approximately 400 students enrolled,” she said. Parents and guardians of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are being encouraged to enrol them into one of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) seven schools.Executive Director of the JAD, Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake, told JIS News that education is the core focus of the institution.“At the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, education is our core focus, so ensuring that students are enrolled and adequately supported in schools is critical for us. Currently, we are at 50 per cent capacity and across the system we have approximately 400 students enrolled,” she said.Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake who was addressing a JIS Think Tank held today (August 21) pointed out that based on estimates, the JAD should have at least 1,000 students enrolled in its schools.“Based on how (mainstream) education system is structured, you have on average a classroom with 44 students. Now, if you are a student who has hearing loss and uses a hearing aid and is seated in a classroom with 44 teachers and a blackboard dividing the classroom, nine out of 10 times you are not catching much in that classroom,” she stated.“The impact this has on the student is… for a number of years they are performing at a bare minimum or below bare minimum and unfortunately they just pass through the (education) system,” Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake added.She informed that the JAD is working on sensitising persons at the community level, on the importance of having a deaf or hard-of-hearing child learning in an environment which is tailored to their specific needs.“Our goal is that no matter the extent of the hearing loss, the child can be supported and the child can be given the education that they deserve because we are firm believers that every child can learn and every child must learn,” Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake stated.The Executive Director also appealed to parents and guardians to have their children assessed, if they are not responding the way they should.“Even if the child is not deaf and we can’t place them in a school for the deaf, our ability to assess and connect parents with other assessment agencies is something we value,” she said.The seven schools at the JAD include: Lister Mair/Gilby High School for the Deaf, Kingston; Danny Williams School for the Deaf, Kingston; Pre-School Centre for the Deaf, Kingston; Ex-Ed Unit Class at the Excelsior Primary School, Kingston; Port Antonio Unit Class for the Deaf, Portland; May Pen Unit Class for the Deaf, Woodside District, Clarendon; and the St. Christopher’s School for the Deaf in Brown’s Town, St. Ann.The schools provide lessons from the National Standards Curriculum, alongside the Jamaican Sign Language Grammar Programme.JAD also manages a Hearing Clinic and Social Services Division which oversees transitional services, advocacy and a training unit that facilitates Jamaican Sign Language and Deaf culture education.The Association also operates a ‘Fine Hand Bindery’ that is aimed at providing skills training and employment opportunities for the Deaf community as well as income generation for the Association.“The support that we provide as a school and organisation go beyond the classroom, as we offer support for parents and siblings. We teach them sign language and address the concerns they may have with raising a deaf child,” Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake shared.Person’s interested in enrolling a deaf or hard-of-hearing student may contact JAD at [email protected] or call 876-970-1778 or 876- 970-1779. Parents and guardians of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are being encouraged to enrol them into one of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) seven schools. Executive Director of the JAD, Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake, told JIS News that education is the core focus of the institution. Story Highlights read more

Top Pep Performers Encourage next Batch of Testtakers

Out of a maximum of 400 marks, she scored 336 in Mathematics; 352 in Language Arts; 339 in Social Studies, 342 in Science and on the Ability Test, she performed better than 92 per cent of test-takers. Raje hails the invaluable support from family and friends, teachers Colleen Hayden and Beverly Bramwell Edwards and tells JIS news that given the chance “it would be my pleasure to help the other set of PEP takers prepare for their exam”. Raje was the top performer at Eltham Park Primary School with an overall placement score of 340.6. Story Highlights Grade-six students, who are preparing to sit the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) in 2020, are being encouraged by top performers in this year’s inaugural sitting of the assessment to put the nerves aside and focus on preparation.In an interview with JIS News, 12-year-old Gemeila Jones, who was the highest achiever at Spanish Town Primary School, advises the upcoming test-takers to “always pay attention in class, go over your notes and study, take breaks and don`t swot”.“When in the actual exam, be sure to read the questions carefully and think carefully about the answers,” she adds.With an overall placement score of 335.3, Gemeila, who now attends St. Jago High School, was assessed as highly proficient in all subject areas.Out of a maximum of 400 marks, she scored 336 in Mathematics; 352 in Language Arts; 339 in Social Studies, 342 in Science and on the Ability Test, she performed better than 92 per cent of test-takers.Gemeila tells JIS News that she was nervous the night before the first exam but became more comfortable with each sitting.She says that while some of the questions were easy “most required more thinking”.“PEP studies are different from the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) because PEP entails the 4Cs, which are critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity, while GSAT is more academic studies,” she notes.While preparing for PEP, Gemeila did not neglect her extracurricular activities and participated in the fire warden club and the junior school’s challenge quiz team. She also enjoyed reading, watching television and socialising with friends.Gemeila credits her success to having a strong support system, including her grandmother and father, with whom she lives, and teacher, Mrs. Richards.“I would like to thank God for giving me the courage, patience and understanding and my family, teachers and friends for giving me the encouragement and support,” she says.Gemeila tells JIS News that she would gladly help students at her former primary school who are preparing for PEP, by providing support through motivation and encouragement.Raje Edwards, who has started his first semester at Ardenne High School, also extols the value of preparation and focus.“PEP is not as hard as it seems, all they (students) have to do is to study hard and focus in the exam,” he says.Raje was the top performer at Eltham Park Primary School with an overall placement score of 340.6.The 11-year-old earned 354 in Mathematics; 339 in Language Arts; 347 in Social Studies; 342 in Science; and performed better than 98 per cent of test-takers on the Ability Test.Raje tells JIS News that Language Arts was his most challenging subject, but notes that overall, he found PEP to be more manageable than his in-class preparation.He was also active in track and field, football, the junior schools’ challenge quiz and the University of the West Indies (UWI) junior schools ‘quiz.Raje hails the invaluable support from family and friends, teachers Colleen Hayden and Beverly Bramwell Edwards and tells JIS news that given the chance “it would be my pleasure to help the other set of PEP takers prepare for their exam”.PEP replaced GSAT as a means to assess the critical thinking and performance abilities of students at the primary level. The Grade Six 2018/2019 cohort was the first set of students to complete the assessment.