Photo: (Left to right) Kevin Barrett, permanent secretary Ministry of Education (Nevis), Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, and William Vincent Hodge, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education (St. Kitts)
Education Sector Plan 2017-2021 underscores importance of change, sustainability
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nov. 17 marked the launch of the Education Sector Plan 2017-2021 under the theme “Education for All: Embracing Change, Securing the Future.” This is a significant milestone in education as it charts the way forward for the future of the Education sector in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Education Sector Plan builds on the White Paper on Education Development and Policy 2009-2019 in order to provide a strategic roadmap for improvement in the provision and administration of education over the next five years, says Minister of Education the Honourable Shawn Richards during his keynote address during the launching at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI).
“I am indeed proud to state that the Ministry of Education is focused and is ensuring that policies are in place to improve education of all of our learners in the federation,” said the minister.
Richards added that education is dynamic and there is a need to keep abreast of the new changes. “The Ministry of Education accepts this notion and therefore carefully developed a policy document with three major policy goals,” he said. “The goals adopted new ideologies to educate all and is intended to ultimately secure a future of highly educated citizens who would contribute to sustainable development, build civic responsibility and succeed locally and globally.”
The three major goals are to improve equitable access and participation at all levels, strengthen quality and relevance at all levels to improve learning outcomes and to enhance sector efficiency and effectiveness through improved governance.
The minister explained that strategies that will be employed to achieve this goal will include, but is not limited to, developing and improving the leadership capabilities of system leaders and school management teams, and improving the human financial and material management systems to better track and monitor the distribution and usage of human and financial resources.
The policy goals of the document have embraced the sub regional developmental imperative outlined in the OECS Education Sector Strategy 2012-2020, explained the minister, adding that the Education Sector Plan also considers and takes into account the goals of the Global Incheon Declaration for Education 2030, which sets out a new vision for education.
“It therefore captures the global mandate for education proposed by the United Nations sustainable development goal number four, which is to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” he said.
The sector plan is crafted on a solid foundation of extensive research and reliable analyses from consultations spanning a period of two years. The contents of the document have had input from local stakeholders regional partners and international agencies.
Minister Richards extended his gratitude to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Institute for Education Planning for the technical support they provided. He also commended all of the stakeholders for their contribution during the consultations and complemented the core team, which was led by Dr. Neva Pemberton, chief education planner.