BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Minister of Education, Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, has outlined the Government’s priority and goals for the Ministry of Education for the 2022-2023 academic year.
During his address to open the new academic year on Sunday (Sept. 4), the Minister declared that they would be focusing on inclusivity and equity of children throughout the year.
“We intend to provide every child equitable access to quality education in a safe child-friendly environment. Therefore, as the Minister of Education, I aim to heed the call from our teachers for greater ‘C.A.R.E’,” noted Hanley.
To this end, he promised to increase the number of teaching assistants in schools across the Federation. Additionally, he is looking to improve the professional development model to incorporate more “TVET-related fields and Learning Disabilities courses. Professional Development needs to be more personalized, competency-based and accessible anytime or anywhere”.
The Minister reiterated his and the Government’s commitment to rebuild the Basseterre High School (BHS) and convert all other “high schools into centers of excellence”.
The BHS has been at the center of controversy since 2013, and the former Dr. Timothy Harris administration had pledged to have the institution constructed.
They had earmarked Ponds Extension on the Basseterre Water Aquifer for its construction, but after seven years no work was done. However, just before the general elections, the Government moved to start clearing the location.
Since then, the Dr. Terrance Drew-led administration backpedaled on that decision and reverted, as was promised before, to have the school constructed on the controversally old Campus on Victoria Road.
The Government has not addressed what measures will be taken to alleviate any concerns that parents may have about the location.
The Joshua Obediah Williams Primary School, which was recently damaged by fire, will also be tackled by the Government during the year.
“Expanding our maintenance unit to incorporate skilled trade persons who will ensure the continued maintenance of our school plants,” Hanley disclosed.
The Ministry will also ensure both students and teachers have the technology they need to make learning interactive and fun-based.
Meanwhile, attention will be placed on strengthening the TVET sector through the provisions of certification at the end of the training period.
Dr. Hanley emphasized that the goals are reachable and he pledged to work tirelessly to ensure that they come to fruition.
The education sector was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic and many of the government’s sector plans were affected.