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Sterling, MICO in phase two of math programme

Published:Wednesday | April 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Professor David Burghes, professor of education at the University of Plymouth, speaks with principal of the Elletson Primary & Junior High, Uvalyn Williams about the math enrichment programme.

Sterling Asset Man-agement, sponsors of the Mathematics Enrichment Programme targeting primary schools, is more than pleased with the progress in pilot schools at the end of phase one.

This partnership with The Mico University College and the University of Plymouth provides 24 scholarships to teachers from the participating primary schools. Education has always been a focus of Sterling's corporate social responsibility, and for a number of years they supported the Mathematics Olympiad at the University of the West Indies.

"Literacy and numeracy are the fundamental building blocks of a sound education, and the foundation of a good education is laid at the primary level. The Mathematics Enrichment Programme is a very important initiative with its focus on improving teachers' skills, and Sterling is very happy to be a part of it," said Charles Ross, president and CEO of Sterling.

In a tour of the schools recently, professor of education at the University of Plymouth and facilitator of the project, David Burghes, spoke with teachers to get a feel of how the project was going. Launched in September 2015, it is expected to run for the duration of the current school year.

"We've done work at the secondary level, but we think that the primary level is where we really need to hit to see the kind of improvement we'd like," said Professor Burghes. He said that at the secondary level, it becomes more difficult to address the fundamental concepts that form the basis of math.

The Mathematics Enrichment Programme uses online and face-to-face learning to train the teachers. The two online modules available to the teachers form part of a master's programme offered by the University of Plymouth, and provide development opportunities for the teachers involved.

The face-to-face component takes place with Mico. The programme is aimed at improving how teachers approach teaching mathematics, which will impact how students view the subject.

The four pilot schools involved in the programme are Mico Practising Primary and Junior High School; Elleston Primary and Junior High; Allman Town Primary; and John Mills Primary, Junior High and Infant School.