Education Planners in the Federation Work Assiduously To Improve the Education Sector

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 25, 2016 (SKNIS): The impact of one’s decision on the learner should be at the center of all deliberations and decision making, said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards.

The minister was at the time delivering remarks at the opening of the Education Sector Plan Programme Development (ESPPD) Workshop on Tuesday, February 23, at the Customs Conference Room.

“I am very pleased to be here to inaugurate this very important step in the development of our Education Sector Plan (ESP),” said the education minister. “After careful analysis of the education system and broad-base consultations on the state of education in the Federation, the Ministries of Education in St. Kitts and Nevis have reached consensus on the policy goals to be pursued over the next five years to strengthen education provision.”

Upon launching the workshop, the minister urged the participants to be productive and collaborative in order to arrive at actionable outcomes.

“We must work to improve equitable access and participation at all levels, particularly in secondary schools and beyond,” said Minister Richards. “More students need to successfully complete a full five year cycle of secondary education in order to receive adequate preparation for the world of work and/or higher education. To make this possible, strengthening the quality and relevance of education with a specific focus on improving learning outcomes is critical.”

Deputy PM Richards stated that all involved in the education sector must continue and intensify their work to improve curriculum and assessment. He also noted that steps must be taken to strengthen the quality of the teaching force and ensure that the Federation’s education and training institutions are conducive to learning.

The education minister said that apart from educators, the ministry must also play its part.

“Enhancing and developing where necessary, quality assurance mechanisms at all levels in the system will also be important,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. To improve efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery throughout the sector, the ministry must also focus on strengthening governance, planning and management.”
The minister urged education planners to be innovative, constructive and open to change and reminded them to keep in mind the vision of the ministry, the provision of holistic lifelong education for all, as well as the other commitments the education sector has made at the local, regional and international levels.

The workshop which comes to a close today, Thursday, February 25, was sponsored by the Ministry of Education and UNESCO’s International Institute for Education.

Present at the opening of the workshop were Mrs. Ionie Liburd Willett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Tricia Esdaille, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcus Edwards, Consultant and Chief Education Officer in St. Lucia, Education Planners, Education Officers, Principals, teachers and other invited guests.

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