Categorized | National News

Lloyd Plans to Increase Graduation Rate

The country’s graduation rate challenges the Ministry of Education and as the new academic school year begins today, Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said his goal is to increase the rate to 85 percent.

Lloyd highlighted the ministry’s goals and plans to reform the educational system during his first national Back-to-School Address last night, which was streamed via the internet.

He said for too long the current graduation rate has been the accepted norm and it is time for students to do better.

“The goal of the Education Ministry is to increase the graduation rate from 50 percent, where it is today, to 85 percent by the year 2030. Our goal highlights our greatest challenge. For decades we have accepted as the norm, our staggeringly low graduation rate of 50 percent,” Lloyd said.
“And although this statistic is not uncommon in many parts of the world, we know that we can do better. In fact, we must do better to help alleviate the socioeconomic challenges that arise as a result of half of our student population being undereducated.”
The minister of education acknowledged that there are some goals that need to be accomplished in order to produce students who are ready to leave the educational system upon graduation.
“The way forward involves a renewed focus on a few key areas. They are numeracy, literacy, oracy and cognitive skills,” Lloyd said.
“Just as importantly, maybe even more so, we are committed to focusing on the social and emotional values and the training of our youngest minds to be the best and all that they can be. This means that we are going back to the beginning, preschool education.
“To this end, we envision a time soon to come when we will be able to mandate by law, when capacities are available, that all two-and-a-half to three-year-olds are in a Ministry of Education approved preschool programme.”
Additionally, Lloyd pointed out that the Ministry of Education is committed to increasing the use of technology in the preschool classroom.
As a result, $2 million was allocated in this year’s budget for the introduction of a pilot programme in several New Providence preschools, which will provide students with tablets to be used in the delivery of education.
Lloyd also highlighted plans to upgrade the curriculum for schools.
Since the world and is constantly changing with new knowledge and information, Lloyd said the Ministry of Education must ensure that the curriculum focuses on these changing realities.
“The curriculum must include the following components, Bahamian history, civic and culture, multilingual and numeracy competencies, information technology competence, entrepreneurship, personal financial planning,” he explained.
Last week, the report of the national examination results was released which showed a decline in students receiving passing grades on the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) and the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE).
According to the minister of education, the results lack luster and have been unchanging for the past 10 years.
This indicates the need for more drastic, more relevant, curricular reform, which will begin to happen this academic year, he said, adding that science, technology and innovation will also be priorities as the education system reforms.
The Ministry of Education will also seek to advance and develop teachers and educational professionals.
“Teachers and teaching rest at the core consideration of this essential transformation. Thus, we will be making greater investments in the training, retraining and professional development of our administrators, teachers and other educational professions by putting in place monetary support to ensure that these professionals are given the resources to pursue their master’s or doctoral degrees in needed educational areas,” Lloyd said.
Another important feature of educational reform is the renewal and improvement of the physical plant.
“Come September, a number of you will see and feel firsthand the government’s commitment to improving the physical plant of the Ministry of Education, which consists of some 170 institutions throughout the country,” Lloyd said.
“It is not a stretch to admit to you tonight that some of our schools have been in dire straits. Many of them have been in that state for decades. This year, school repairs in Grand Bahama, New Providence and the Family Islands will cost more than $11 million.
“At Stephen Dillet Primary School, significant improvements have been made to that facility at the cost of nearly $4 million, $3.9 million in fact. All with the number one goal of being best able to serve our number one clients, our students.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook