Quality education comes with collaboration says Chief Education Officer, Karen Best.
Addressing the church service at the Abundant Life Assembly, Bank Hall to mark the official start of Education Month, she said: “The foundation for quality education is not built in the classroom alone, it is a collaborative effort of the school, home, church, civil society, many who are represented here today,”
The theme for Education month this year is Firm Foundation = Quality Education and Mrs. Best said it brought back fond memories of her years as an educator in the classroom – seeing her charges transition from shy, non-readers to articulate and competent youth, ready to utilise their skills, to become productive members of society.
Stating that quality education was the foundation of Barbados’ economic and social development, she told a packed audience of educators, students and officials, including Education Minister, Ronald Jones, that a large proportion of the national budget was dedicated to ensuring the necessary learning resources that would facilitate students’ progress at each level of their educational journey.
“Much of this expenditure facilitates the academic and structural foundation presently taking place at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. There is extensive teacher training and the enhancement of student support services to address disadvantages from early childhood and to empower parents. The curriculum of our educational institutions is designed to be responsive to the 21st century needs, by ensuring that there is an opportunity for lifelong learning,” said Mrs. Best.
She added that the Ministry was in the process of ensuring classrooms were equipped with the appropriate technological tools to enhance teaching and learning. By doing this, teachers and students would be able to develop essential skills to promote knowledge retention and collaborative learning.
Assuring students that the Ministry would also continue to provide the foundation, the Chief Education Officer said: “Young nation builders, we will reinforce it by having structures to help you navigate your educational journey; you need to add the finishing touches! You have the responsibility to yourself to gain the critical skills to realise your dreams. A quality education awaits you!”