Student attendance is back to pre-pandemic levels, says Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams.
At the end of the 2021/22 school year on July 1, the daily absentee rate was at 20 to 25 per cent, which was the case before the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mrs Williams said that efforts to find students who are still disengaged will continue in the 2022/23 academic year under the Yard-to-Yard, Find the Child Initiative.
“We have to get those children back in schools come the new school year, and you will see us with the programme again,” she noted.
“We’re hoping to have better data in terms of attendance, especially during the first couple of weeks in school, so it will allow us to better target, know who is absent and engage them to find out what is happening in the home and so on,” she continued.
During the height of the pandemic, the Ministry reported that approximately 120,000 primary and high-school students were not attending classes.
Under the Yard-to-Yard, Find the Child Initiative, 580 youth workers under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, 108 social workers, 928 guidance counsellors, and 177 deans of discipline were engaged to help trace and contact these students.
Mrs Williams was speaking at the official launch of the Education Transformation Oversight Committee (ETOC) at Jamaica House on July 6.
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