Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona Archer Bradshaw. (FP)

The time has come for the education system to abandon traditional teaching methods crafted on the premise that students are merely receptacles of information.

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, expressed this view, while delivering remarks at a church service to mark the start of Education Month yesterday.

Acknowledging the advancements in science and technology, Dr. Archer-Bradshaw explained that emphasis needed to be placed on equipping students with the necessary tools to thrive in these modern times. It is against this background that she reminded persons of the link between education and national development.

“If we are to become a fully developed society that is prosperous, socially just and globally competitive, as stated in the National Strategic Plan 2005 to 2025, then there are aspects of our education that we are forced to re-imagine.”

According to her, this new approach should be one that empowers students across the education system to “produce technologies that can benefit our society, the region and the world”.

“…At every stage of our system and in every subject, students should be allowed opportunities to analyse, synthesise, create and evaluate. The power of the four C’s of the 21st century skills should also take centre stage. Critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration are all important in preparing our students for the future workplace…,” Dr. Archer-Bradshaw stressed.

Turning her attention to special needs education, she highlighted inclusivity in the classroom as another key factor in ensuring no child was disadvantaged.  “We must place greater focus on students with exceptionalities by charting the path towards inclusive classrooms.

“Currently, there are primary and secondary schools that are practising inclusion via differentiated instruction, and some teachers are currently trained or currently being trained in this area. Nevertheless, it is imperative to rethink our systems and our structures so that students with special needs, disabilities or impairments can learn effectively among their peers in age appropriate general education environments,” Dr. Archer-Bradshaw explained.

The senior education official added that values should be incorporated into general teachings, as the objective is to create well-rounded individuals. 

She further noted that physical education should be practised, whether in the physical setting or virtual setting, as this is a critical factor in one’s overall well-being.

nya.phillips@barbados.gov.bb

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