Education Ministry pushing for Spanish learners to advance in English


The Ministry of Education will launch a new programme titled ‘Advancing in English’ this month, geared towards helping Spanish-speaking students in the education system.

The programme is expected to help advance the ability of Spanish-speaking students to learn the English curriculum here. The programme will be in both English and Spanish for English learners to learn Spanish and Spanish learners to learn English.

During the Education Spotlight programme on Wednesday night, Head of Distance Learning at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) Anieshaw Mohamed and the head of EdYou FM, Philip Williams, collectively announced that programmes to help Spanish-speaking students integrate into the country’s school system will be launched soon.

Mohamed acknowledged the increase of Spanish-speaking students in the school system and said the Ministry will release the ‘Advancing in English’ programme for these students.

Head of Distance Learning at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Anieshaw Mohamed and the head of EdYou FM, Philip Williams

“Advancing in English that we will release July… it is for Spanish speaking [learners] and it covers the curriculum,” Mohamed said.

She further explained, “There will be two parts of this one program. So one lesson would be catering for students that want to learn Spanish and the other would be for a Spanish speaker that wants to advance in English.”

Meanwhile, Williams explained that the radio station broadcasts in multiple hinterland communities is a practical way to reach these students because most of these communities do not have internet access and if they do, it is costly.

“I believe that radio has the ability to reach places that other technology can’t reach as of right now except for satellite. So, this effort is yet another approach by the ministry to meet and to provide premium education content, especially, to people who are in the hinterland people who are away from the coast,” he said.

He added that, “This new lesson that we’re doing in Spanish. This is for people who speak Spanish coming into our schools, a lot of students from across the borders and from different countries coming in, they don’t know to speak English in the class. So English as a second language is something that the ministry will be pushing and we will be happy to pilot this on our station.”

The importance of finding avenues outside of the classroom to engage students was highlighted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the Education Ministry implemented a blended, online and in-person, teaching method to keep students engaged.

To engage learners through distance learning, the ministry created multiple online platforms where students can access school work. Further, the ministry recently launched its radio station EdYou FM (99.7 FM).

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