|Government’s plans for education outlined|
|Thursday, 28 June 2012 08:22|
Nassau, The Bahamas – Among the Government’s plans for Education over the next five years is the expansion and availability of government pre-schools throughout The Bahamas. The following schools have been identified for pre-schools: Sandilands Primary, Claridge Primary, Stephen Dillet Primary, Yellow Elder Primary, Mabel Walker Primary, Walter Parker Primary (Freeport) Lowe Sound Primary (Andros) George Town Primary (Exuma) and Moore’s Island (Abaco).
Education, Science and Technology Minister the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald announced plans which, he said, combined with progressive teachers, can only result in a “winning combination.” Minister Fitzgerald addressed the 65th Annual General Meeting of the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) at the Wyndham Nassau Beach Resort on Monday, June 25.
The creation of a curriculum website designed to meet the needs of teachers, students and parents is also on the agenda.“It is essential that we use technology to liaise with parents, concerning their children’s education,” said the Education Minister. “We know that this is possible because many consumers receive texts about Phil’s Weekly specials; Solomon’s or Mario’s Bowling Palace. The time has come for us to start sending notices to parents notifying them of PTA meetings, Report Card Days and Parent-Teacher conferences.”The Ministry intends to implement a new high school equivalency diploma that will assist Bahamians who were unable to finish high school, and upgrade schools to ensure that students have access to the best technology. Further, Minister Fitzgerald announced that Career Path Academies to facilitate expanded technical and vocational training and new apprenticeship opportunities will be established. “Many right-thinking educators and citizens are of the view that our lower primary school curriculum is too crowded and our students from grades 1-3 are overwhelmed by the numerous concepts and superficial learning which takes place.
“The Department of Education is working with the union to restructure programmes at this level with a view to offering fewer subjects and increase the time allocated for core subjects.” Plans are also afoot to focus on the upkeep of the physical plant of schools. Work is expected to commence this week.
“You will note that this will be the earliest that repairs have begun in the schools in quite some time and we are improving our planning process so that next year we will commence the Monday after school closes. This will require of course the coordination of human resources and capital.”
Another Ministry initiative on the drawing board is more emphasis on skills training in schools that will eventually lead to certification for students prior to their departure from high school. “Presently there is insufficient focus on applied academic skills to enable students to acquire ‘hands on technology’. More often if students do not have a high academic aptitude other skills and abilities are ignored,” he said.
Mr. Fitzgerald commended BUT president Mrs. Belinda Wilson and the executive team for continuing to lobby and work with the Government to create an environment in schools which is conducive to teachers, and one which promotes the effective delivery of education to students.He said it his goal to have a “harmonious” relationship with the BUT because it is in the best interest of our teachers, students and the wider society. “This goal can only be achieved through our close cooperation and our willingness to listen to each other and to be realistic about the objectives that are on the table,” he added.
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