Education Minister Outlines Significant Achievements In Curriculum Development

(EMU) – St. Kitts, July 31, 2013: With schools in the Federation closed for summer vacation, the Ministry of Education, through its Curriculum Development Unit, has begun a four day intensive Curriculum Review and Development training workshop.

Minister of Education and Information Hon. Nigel Carty spoke to participants in the July 29 to August 1 event noting that the Ministry’s plan to enhance curriculum development is on track and has had significant milestones. He urged them to maintain the positive momentum in relation to the further enhancement of the curriculum.

“Curriculum reform began with the design and implementation of more carefully crafted curricula in the four core subject areas, namely Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Technology and Social Studies,” He said. “With the recent consultancy of Dr. Paul Stark, we made significant strides towards reviewing and developing curricula for the Technical and Vocational areas. The effort of Dr. Tricia Esdaille and the respective team has resulted in the implementation of a revised Health and Family Life Education curriculum to help ensure that our children and young people can continue to receive sound teaching and instruction in how to live healthy and successful lives.”

He also revealed that in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the publication of a local history textbook called Places of Memory: The Experiences and Contributions of the Enslaved Africans in St. Kitts and Nevis,had been achieved. An associated workbook had also been drafted. The book was researched and written by Mr. Leonard Stapleton, a local historian.

“This adds to our strides to achieving a National Curriculum, based on our Local History, to promote an understanding of the history, language, culture, rights, and values of St. Kitts and Nevis and their changing role in contemporary society, and …. a national and Caribbean identity,” Minister Carty said.

He asked participants comprising staff at the Curriculum Development Unit, Education Officers, Curriculum Review Committee members and other stakeholders, to keep the goals of the Education White Paper with regard to Curriculum Development at the forefront of their deliberations over the four day period. He added that this would include the transformation of Students to become the ideal citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis so that they can contribute positively to national development.

“I have iterated, this goal of ensuring quality education, is indispensable, if we are to nurture the kinds of citizens that are expected to emerge from our institutions of learning … to be productive citizens of our Federation and the wider Caribbean Community and world,”stated Minister Carty.

The Education Minister commended the new Director of the Curriculum Development Unit Dr. Eva Bowrin for her “initiative getting the review process underway” and bringing about this necessary activity in such a timely fashion.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Information, Mrs Ionie Liburd Willett, who also addressed participants revealed the activities that would constitute the training activity.

“We will explore current debates and research scholarship in core areas; successes and best practices (and challenges) of regional and international programmes as they relate to philosophy, instructional objectives, content, resources, contexts, and assessment, among others; as well as a clear and effective roadmap for continual monitoring, appraising, and revising of the curricula, ” she stressed.

Mrs Willett outline that the workshop is designed to produce a draft National Curriculum Policy; curricula for subjects that are presently not part of the national curricula, and revisions to existing national curricula.

The closing ceremony for the Curriculum Development and Review will take place on Thursday, August 1, at 1pm at the UWI Conference Room.

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