Chief Education Officer outlines new strategies to assist students
May 3, 2013

Chief Education Officer outlines new strategies to assist students

The Ministry of Education has initiated several strategies in the system to help students who face challenges.{{more}}

Chief Education Officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist outlined some of these strategies at the National Awards Ceremony, held on April 26 at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall.

Among the strategies are the strengthening of the Health and Family Life (HFLE) programme as well as the provision of counsellors to more schools. Gilchrist said while counsellors are available in some schools, the ministry is working steadfastly to ensure that counsellors are present in all schools.

“However, we have no control over the extent of the quality of parental support that is provided to students…parents, it is up to you; we can only implore you… to support your students,” Gilchrist said.

The development of the early childhood education sector is also an area where attention is being paid.

The chief education officer disclosed that last year, a quality assessment survey on pre-schools was conducted with the help of UNICEF.

“The findings have not yet been made public, but they are alarming and we therefore have to garner support for the further development of quality in the delivery of early childhood education,” she stated.

Other initiatives include the child friendly school initiative, designed to support students’ good behaviour; a student support services unit, designed to assist students in moderating their behaviour, to be fully integrated into the school setting; and a small remedial reading programme for 10 Grade Six students in 10 schools.

“We recently conducted a training programme in school inspection to support the collecting of evidence, which will be used to inform school improvement strategies,” Gilchrist added.

The chief education officer also said that recent developments have been made in national vocational qualifications to gain compliance to offer the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications to students.

“We want to make sure that each school leaver, each young person in this country is certified and employable,” she said.

Other organizations are on board with these developments in the country’s education sector, she said.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has sponsored a skills enhancement project to include persons who are out of school, so that they may acquire and be certified in a skill.

“The Ministry of Education is placing greater focus on the relevance of the curriculum and on its delivery,” Gilchrist said.

“We are placing emphasis on assessment for and of learning”.(BK)