Categorized | National News

Five-Year Education Plan Revealed

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald recently outlined a number of plans that his government has on the drawing board to overhaul the country’s educational system over the next five years.

The government is hoping that the changes will encourage more effective teaching and improved student achievement.

“We plan to create a curriculum website designed to meet the needs of teachers, students and parents. It is essential that we use technology to liaise with parents concerning their children’s education,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

“We will implement a new high school equivalency diploma which will assist Bahamians who were unable to finish high school. We will upgrade the nation’s schools to ensure our students have access to the best technology and establish career path academies to facilitate expanded technical and vocational training and new apprenticeship opportunities.”

He also noted that the government will work to expand and make public preschools more available throughout the country.

“While collectively we are calling for change, we must be clear on the changes we want to realise in our educational system. There are two principle changes on my checklist for education. First, to see more emphasis placed on skills training in our schools which will lead to certification for our students, prior to them leaving high school,” he said.

“Presently there is insufficient focus on applied academic skills to enable students to acquire hands on technology. More often if students do not have high academic aptitude, their other skills and abilities are ignored. We must address and fix this.”

He continued, “Second on my list of initiatives is to see more high performing teachers in the service. I applaud the union for advocating for an independent body to oversee the teaching profession in The Bahamas. This will require a collaborative commitment between the ministry and the union to have fair, honest and impartial assessment of teachers for the purpose of providing the necessary training to assist teachers with the improved delivery of their subject matter.”

Mr. Fitzgerald was addressing the Bahamas Union of Teachers’ (BUT) 65th annual general meeting Monday.

He told hundreds of teachers that he has approached his duties as education minister with a sense of urgency and commitment and expects them to do the same.

While Mr. Fitzgerald outlined the government’s plans to enhance the educational system, he also reminded educators of the government’s commitment to reward them for their hard work.

“By now you should be aware that there is allocation in the 2012/2013 Budget for the lump sum payment promised to teachers. Additionally, provision for the insurance coverage for teachers has been made in the Ministry of Finance’s Budget, and the scheme will take effect from July 1,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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