October 29, 2007
Premier of Nevis and Minister of Education, the Hon. Joseph Parry told members of the teaching fraternity on the island that they had done a great job in steering the children of Nevis to excellence and should be given credit for their interest and commitment. He told them they would be rewarded for their efforts.
The Premier commended the teachers on Friday October 26, 2007 which was observed as Professional Day for teachers on Nevis. The annual event hosted by the Department of Education in collaboration with the Nevis Teachers Union (NTU), now in its 23rd year, was held at the Four Seasons Resort, under the theme “Raising the standard: Empowering Teachers for quality Performance. Mr. Conrad Liburd, a former Principal of the Gingerland Secondary School was this year’s honoree.
Mr. Parry noted that the government had begun to examine ways to empower the teachers and to develop programmes to assist them professionally.“Last year I requested of the teachers an incentive list from the teachers and I have not yet seen it, I would like to see it, because sincerely we do need to do something for you. One of the thoughts mentioned to us after a number of years, was that you will get a car duty free or with some duty taken off. It sounds very good to me.
“The government has already taken steps to ensure that you have advantages in housing by securing a loan from Social Security and this government has offered to you the opportunity for you to study at home or abroad. It is absolutely important for you that you continue to train yourself and to educate yourself,” he said.
The Premier who is also Minister of Finance added that another way to empower the teachers would be to examine their salaries and disclosed that in May of 2008, there would be a salary review and it was his intention to ensure that there teachers were at the forefront of these discussions.
Mr. Parry said he was pleased to see the large number young persons who had entered the teaching profession in recent times and promised that the Nevis Island Administration would make the teaching environment a positive one to avoid disillusions
The Minister of Education said that he had done a full review exercise with the Department of Education and had come away with the mandate to review performance, to examine the organisation and to reorganise the Department. The move he said would give greater support to teachers in their efforts to deliver an enhanced education product to the students of Nevis.
“This will require greater cooperation between the Department and schools; this will require a closer relationship between the primary and secondary schools; this will require greater attention to record keeping of the students of all the schools.
“You have my support and the support of the Ministry of Education. We can do it together as a team. Let each teacher, each Head, each school set itself high standards,” he said.
Mr. Parry also acknowledged the honoree and described Mr. Liburd as a teacher who had been very committed, one who worked long and hard under trying circumstances. “He deserves every applause and every commendation that you give him,” he said.
The event was chaired by Mr. Keith Glasgow, featured various speakers and was dotted with entertainment.