January 10, 2007
Principal Education Officer in the Ministry of Education on Nevis told school principals and senior managers that it was imperative that all stakeholders be committed to improvements in education and not see it as merely a job.
She made the remark at the commencement of a two day Principals/Senior Management Training Workshop which would conclude at the Mount Nevis Hotel in Newcastle, on January 10, 2007. The workshop under the theme “Rising the Standard through continuing Professional Development and Training” is the final of a series of training workshops over the past three years, geared towards the management of productive schools on Nevis.
“As policy makers and technicians in our education system, it is absolutely necessary that we equip or retool ourselves as necessary to provide our children with a quality education for learning for life and work. We have to be concerned with the relevance of the education our young people receive and the opportunities we open up to them in the world of work in the 21st century,” she said.
According to Mrs. Hodge, the two-day workshop would examine the role of school principals in expending and accounting for school funds; evaluate the way the curriculum is managed; examine how test results could improve academic performance and also to examine the implications of school governance with the absence of corporal punishment.
The Top Education Official said that with the increase demands being placed on the schools, apart from ensuring that young people presented themselves to work with the basic ITC skills, a requirement for job placement but should also acquire those skills to be competitive.
“We face a period of major development in education which has serious implications for what we do with what we know in the classroom. We also have to look at learning a second language”¦
“More and more is expected of schools and proper management of key elements of the curriculum will be necessary to ensure that the focus is on depth rather than on breath and that our students get a good grounding in the essential areas in preparation for the workplace,” she said.
Mrs. Hodge stressed that quality education was the end goal of every education system which could be provided by responsible and quality teachers.
She said though there was no doubt as to the commitment of teachers on Nevis the Department of Education operated and in-service teacher training system, no school had a staff that with less than 70 percent of its teachers trained and the schools returned some of the best results in the Region.
“Though this is commendable, it is extremely important that greater emphasis is placed on continuous in-service training. The Department of Education is committed to providing the opportunities for teachers to upgrade their skills but to successfully raise the standard of our education system, all of our education partners must collaborate and cooperate,” she said.