Education Dept. meets most objectives in 2012/2013 school year; still room for much improvement, says Nevis PEO Queeley-Connor

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (JULY 23, 2013) — Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education on Nevis Mrs. Lornette Queeley-Connor said although a high percentage of the objectives set by the Department for the last school year were met, there was room for improvement which would translate into greater achievements.

The PEO’s comment came when she spoke to the Department of Information as she described the performance of the last school year which concluded two weeks ago. She was at the time attending a meeting with Premier of Nevis and Minister of Education Hon. Vance Amory on July 23, 2013.

“I would say that we are very well positioned moving forward. We would have achieved a very high percentage of our objectives that we would have set. We would have achieved up to 75-80 per cent and that is a pretty successful rate.

“However, there is always room for improvement and so if we are to see the benefits of the training that we have carried on during the course of the school year, we would realise that we can achieve much greater success,” she said.

Speaking to the efforts of the Education Minister and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), Mrs. Queeley-Connor said among matters discussed was the need for teachers to become role models for students and the wider community.

“We would have also discussed the importance of teachers seeing themselves as proper role models for the children, for the rest of the community because we think that contributes to that holistic development that we are looking for in our young people,” she said.

Meantime, Mr. Amory who is also the Premier of Nevis, welcomed the comment and spoke to the importance of the development of resources within the Department of Education.

“I think this is important. Our emphasis would have to be the development of the resources within the Education Department and we are looking at how can we organise the Department itself, the Ministry itself. How can we utilise each person to the maximum potential to which he or she has and how can we get the focus which I would like to see, as the Minister, for our children and our parents as well?” he said.

The Premier added that the input of other stakeholders, in particular parents, was vital in the thrust to refocus the education system which could only redound to the benefit of all of Nevis.

“We [NIA] do not just want this to be an effort arising from the Administration, we want to have all of the stakeholders. We want parents especially to buy into what we are doing because we have gone through a spate of very harsh and traumatic behaviours, criminal activity, shootings and I am not going to be afraid to say I feel if we can refocus our children on how they can become more tolerant through education, we can get our teachers to be part of this.

“How can our teachers now focus on the holistic development of our children, not just teaching them the Maths and English but teaching them how to coexist with their fellow students; how to live within society; how to establish good qualities; how to get good qualities and values so that they can become better citizens? I think our thrust would be to look at that,” he said.

Mr. Amory also spoke to a Volunteer Programme suggested by Mrs. Queeley-Connor, which would be introduced for the students as part of the refocused education system but would include persons in the wider society.

“That Volunteer Programme will enlist the support of members of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Christian Council [and] other persons in society so that they can be part of the turnaround, part of the refocusing on the transformation of our society through education.

“I think that is an important focus. But we will make a statement to you before school starts so that it becomes then the policy which will guide the process in the next school year,” he said.

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