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Jamaica: Gov’t to focus on school dropouts, absenteeism, boys’ underachievement

Government is to roll out a series of initiatives aimed at improving parenting and reducing absenteeism and dropouts among school children.

This was revealed by Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams during a post sectoral debate press conference on Thursday.

Williams indicated that single gender classes would be encouraged in schools where it has been shown to be successful.

“Maybe they have a different learning style, maybe they are more tactile, maybe they need more practical things to do… We have seen where this has been experimented with in some of our schools and has given good results,” Williams said.

Citing statistics which indicate that only 74 per cent of students are consistently present in school, Williams said the top four reasons given for absenteeism would be addressed. These she said included illness, mainly because of asthma; money for lunch, uniforms and transportation; rain in rural areas; and schools being closed without permission.

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