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Teacher Thomas “gives back” with free summer courses for underprivileged children

Sir Giddle Thomas handing over a certificate to a student who completed the summer programme

By: Tassia Dickenson

An educator for some 14 years, Giddle Thomas recognises that not every family can afford to pay for additional lessons to ensure their children, who may be struggling in some subject areas, get the extra help they need to succeed.

This became even more evident during the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted the traditional learning environment and took a toll on underprivileged families.

Understanding the dynamics of the situation, teacher Thomas began offering free summer courses towards the “ending” of the pandemic, in order to ensure children were not too seriously affected by learning loss which is any specific or general loss of knowledge and skills or to reversals in academic progress.

The first time the programme was offered, it was done both virtually and face-to-face.

But when the pandemic officially ended, instead of ‘going back to normal’, teacher Thomas decided it best to continue with the free summer programmes.

“The summer programme is my way of giving back and it’s something we intend to do for many years to come,” he told this publication during an interview.

The programmes are usually for five weeks and cater for students from Grades 5 to 11. The classes are now fully in-person and are hosted at his institute “Giddle’s All Momentous Intellects” at Henry Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown.

Though the programme initially catered for underprivileged children, it is now being attended by kids from all walks of life and from both the public and private school system.

According to teacher Thomas, it focuses on areas that are considered “fundamental”, depending on the Grade of the student.

“For the Grade 5 and 6 sessions for the summer class, we had basically crash courses of the four core subjects, Maths, English, Science, and Social Studies. For Grades 7, 8, and 9 we focused a bit on numeration and a bit of algebra, and for Grades 10 and 11 we focused mostly on the topics that would give students a problem at school, like matrices, functions, algebra, simultaneous equations and stuff like that.”

Approximately 130 students attended the recently-concluded summer programme for this year. Persons interested in next year’s programme can contact teacher Thomas on +592 609 7222 via call or WhatsApp.