Addressing the nation on the eve of the start of the new school year(4th September 2016), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Shawn Richards announced that new computer labs will be installed in primary and secondary schools to help facilitate learning and technology experiences among students, he said, as he called for 21st Century education standards.
Explaining, he said, “The Ministry of Education has formalized its agreement in partnership with Ross University and Devry University. It is also the aim of my ministry to ensure that every classroom teacher will be provided with the necessary training to intergrade the use of technology in the instructional process.”
The minister in his address said he believes that it is important for the education offering to meet the expectations of a modern society in St. Kitts and Nevis. Minister Richards said, “The Ministry of Education is cognizant of the need to reshape education in St. Kitts and Nevis. In so doing the ministry has mapped out a path that will align its policies with a number educational initiatives. Such initiatives include the OECS Education Sector Strategy Plan and the new Global Mandate, Education for all.”
Just as important, the minister revealed that special attention will be given to the nation’s teachers in the form of incentives.
Richards said, “My ministry is taking steps to recognize the work that teachers do by offering tangible rewards. During the new school year, the Ministry of Education will embark on a National Teacher Reward System in recognition of the outstanding and excellent performance by our nation’s hard working teachers.”
According to Richards, a National Teacher of the Year will be selected. “It is the hope of my ministry that such an incentive will serve as a source of motivation that will drive our teachers to give of their best.”
The education minister also appealed to parents to play their part to ensure that their children get the best education possible. To do this, he said, “I ask that you get to know your children’s teachers. Visit the schools whenever the occasions arise, not only when there is a student teacher conflict. Attend parent-teacher meetings and conferences. Volunteer to work with school fund-raising and other school events, and get involved in your local PTA. Most importantly demonstrate respect for your children’s teachers and principals.”
The minister reiterated, “Strong student-teacher-parent relationships… will promote greater student learning and success.”