NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 30, 2013) — Nevis’ Minister of Education Hon. Vance Amory wants the private and public school systems to work together with the skills and resources available, an effort that would unify their objective to ensure the best of every student.
Mr. Amory who is also the Premier of Nevis, made the call when he addressed teachers on Nevis at an annual event hosted by Department of Education in collaboration with the Nevis Teachers Union (NTU) entitled Professional Day. It was held on October 28, 2013, Nevis Performing Arts Centre with the theme “A Call for Education to foster a Culture of Collaboration.”
“We have the public system and we have the private school system and I want to put this matter outside of any doubt that we cannot function in two spheres because we are one community.
“Therefore, I would like to see as part of our collaborative effort that the Private schools, however small, however large, however rich or poor they may be in terms of their funding and resources that we embrace them and that all of the trainings and all of the developmental programmes that which we are engaged as a public system, that we seek to embrace them and include them as part of that collaborative effort, so that we can have an integrated system,” he said.
Mr. Amory explained that as a unified system it would ensure that they could move pari passu or in equal steps to satisfy the common objective for which they existed.
“That is to ensure that our children, no matter what background they come from, no matter where they attend school, that the objective is the same, that we make the best out of every student using the resources and the skills and the talent we have,” he said.
The Education Minister also told the teachers that they had to see each as an individual student, that each unit, each child, each classroom, each class had to be seen as an important part of what they did in the education system.
He spoke to the “no child left behind” concept and explained though it did not determine the performance or achievement of each child it should become the basis to achieve the maximum potential of each child as a human being which he regarded as a serious challenge for the island’s educators.
“It is a significant and serious challenge but it is also an opportunity that each one of us can use to demonstrate our skills as educators and as teachers. The inculcation of values…must be pivotal and foundational to our instructing and developing our children.
“I want us to write that in our work plans everyday ‘I must ensure that my child or the children are au fait with what are good values’. Make that the foundation. Is it something which we can achieve? I believe so because one of your fundamental principles of teaching indicates that unless the child or the class is prepared and receptive you don’t get very far,” he said.
Other remarks came from Principal Education Officer Mrs. Palsy Wilkin and President of the NTU Ms. Ornette Webbe. Featured speakers were Clinical Psychologists at Morgan State University Dr. Raymond Winbush and Dr. Jeff Menzise