Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt June 7 - 2017
"Ok class let's show off our reading skills
for miss." And with these words, the first
year class of the Black Rock Government
Primary School hurriedly rummage through
their backpacks, pull out a copy of bright
and yellow reading book with the title
"Crabs". And with the signal "Let's Go" the
students begin to simultaneously read, with
confidence and fluency.
The Black Rock Government Primary
School is one of four primary schools here
on the island participating in the Parenting
for Literacy Program for Infants. Formally
known as the "Jolly Phonics Reading Program
is conducted through a collaborative effort
between several organisations including the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization -- UNESCO, The
National Library and Republic Bank.
The principal of the Black Rock Govern-
ment Primary School Milton Eastman gave
an overview of the Program.
" The training for the program is admin-
istered in Trinidad where two teachers and
an appointed principal are invited to a train-
ing session during the week preceding the
last week of the July/August vacation. They
train the principal to administrate the pro-
gram and train the teachers to teach the
He said the Jolly Phonics Program while
similar to traditional teaching methods has
a number of unique characteristics.
"Jolly Phonics is a fun and child-centered
approach to teaching literacy through syn-
thetic phonics. With actions for each of the
42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method
is very motivating for children and teachers,
who can see their students achieve."
The principal said the sounds are taught
in a specific order which is different from
the traditional alphabetical order. This, he
said enables children to begin building words
from an early age.
Using a synthetic phonics approach, East-
man said the Jolly Phonics teaches children
the key skills for reading and writing.
"When you teach them all the individual
sounds and the blended sounds you'll be
able to decode almost any word and it build
confidence so therefore the child would no
longer be concerned with whether or not
they could call words but it allows for great-
er understanding of the word -- the children
develop a very high level of literacy."
He said the program has been very suc-
cessful at the Black Rock Government Pri-
mary School where a lot of resources are
directed to the infant department to give the
students a good foundation.
"We have children here who would be able
to decode almost any word so you give them
any length of words and they are able to
sound them individually and blend them
showing two sets of skills, sounding the
letters and blending them I am very satisfied
with the outcome of the program."
First Year Teacher Marjorie Moore Car-
rington, a teacher for almost twenty years,
said although she was familiar with the Jolly
"It's an excellent program.It's really the
way to get children reading and once you
continue that right through the school it will
produce excellent results. Once you put your
whole self into it and do what you supposed
to do you are going to get the results."
Participating schools of the Parenting for
Literacy Program for Infants will come
together at the Scarborough Library on June
12th for a culmination ceremony.
Agri groups: Brace for higher food prices
Two agricultural groups are predicting
higher food prices and job losses as a result
of flooding that has left farming commu-
nities in Penal, Maloney/Orange Grove,
Plum Mitan and Sangre Grande under water
The prices can sky rocket as much as 300
hundred per cent in the coming weeks, while
scores of labourers could lose their livelihoods
due to affected fields.
Both organisations have cited inadequate
clearing and cleaning of water channels in
communities as a contributing factor to the
President of the Agricultural Society of
T&T Dhanoo Sookoo and president of the
Farmers' Union of T&T Shiraz Khan made
the prediction yesterday, as relentless rains
pounded on fields across the country.
However, Agriculture Minister Clarence
Rambharat in response to Sookoo and Khan's
statement said the rain have now started
and the Ministry of Works and Transport
and the 14 regional corporations have done
a lot of work to clear water courses.
"It is too early to be crying doom and
gloom," Rambharat said.
Yesterday, Sookoo, who toured Vega De
Oropouche, in Sangre Grande and Plum
Mitan, admitted that these farming com-
munities were under water.
"Farmers in Plum Mitan have been clam-
ouring to get their channels cleared for the
past two years. We know for sure there will
be a lot of flooding in this area which would
lead to higher food prices for consumers."
In addition to this, Sookoo said taxpayers
would also have to pay affected farmers flood
"We were in the Maloney/Orange Grove
area on Sunday and observed that some
areas were affected by the heavy rainfall.
That is why we have been appealing for
Government to provide the right kind of
incentive and frame work so farmers could
get involved in protected agriculture. What
has happened in the last two days with open
field farming we have seen heavy losses to
With work on the Point Fortin High resum-
ing, Sookoo said some areas of the swamp
in south were filled so the water is diverting
and settling in fields in Puzzle Island in
"It is not only losses based on flooding.
It is also losses based on rainfall damage.
Flowers and young fruits on plants have
been falling off while plants have been tak-
ing a battering. Crops have also been melt-
ing and rotting," Sookoo said.
Sookoo said there has been no strong
policy to take the sector forward in a sus-
"In some cases crops can increase by 200
and 300 per cent. Where farmers are sup-
posed to be harvesting in the next three
months, with the on going rain, production
would be severely damaged and they would
have to replant. Also people who are
employed on affected farms will be out of
She said water logged farms could lead to
demand outweighing supply of commodities.
"This present Government campaigned
on protecting the agriculture sector and what
we are seeing is same old, same old. Once
again it's a showcasing of bad politics and
bad governance. Not only with this Govern-
ment but in the past. The agriculture min-
istry is suppose to provide a cushion for
consumers when its comes to food avail-
ability and food affordability," Sookoo said.
Khan urged consumers to brace for a hike
in prices and job losses.
"We can expect commodities such as
patchoi, lettuce, herbs, cucumbers, water
melon, hot peppers, green peppers, ochro
and tomatoes to go up. Agricultural labour-
ers will also face the breadline when farm-
ers' fields are no longer in operation.With
people losing their jobs this will definitely
have an impact on the small man. They are
the ones who will suffer."
Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat
Links Archive June 6th 2017 June 8th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page