Induction course for teachers to be extended and autism center to be established

Students of the Verchild’s High School (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 18TH2012 (CUOPM) – Concern over the level of unpreparedness of first-time teachers entering the classrooms, the Ministry of Education plans to extend the duration of its teachers’ induction programme.

This will more effectively inculcate the most basic pedagogical skills in new teachers in an effort to improve the quality of education.

“Moreover, the teaching of Reading is to receive even greater attention with the intended recruitment of a qualified Reading Coordinator to supervise, monitor, evaluate and train teachers of Reading,” said Minister of Education, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty.

In the Ministry’s Executive Summary passed by the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly as part of the 2012 Budget, Minister Carty said to further enhance performance at the CXC/CSEC level, the Ministry of Education will introduce in-service training of teachers in selected subjects identified for significant improvement.

“We will also begin to lay the groundwork for full pre-service training of teachers,” said Minister Carty.

“To improve the overall quality of education and teacher accountability, schools will continue to be involved in clinical supervision and teacher appraisal exercises. Alongside these activities, the Ministry is seeking to introduce a Career Path system for teachers. This implement seeks to introduce a clear and more certain path of upward or lateral mobility for practitioners.

This prospect has created understandable excitement among teaching practitioners and its implementation is expected to boost morale in and attraction to the profession. Going forward, the outcome of the appraisal process must be an influencing factor in the mobility of teachers as the ministry attempts to cultivate and promote highly motivated and ethically-oriented professionals,” said Minister Carty.

He disclosed that it is entirely requisite that the Education Management Information System (EMIS) be fully operationalised to facilitate the efficient management of information.

The Ministry of Education is charged with the development and supervision of the educational component of the Child Development Programme at the Harris’ Co-Ed Centre when it begins operation.

The programme will focus heavily on technical and vocational skills development and will be very efficiently managed through a policy of inclusion involving the Saddlers Secondary School where appropriate, and the use of part-time staff. However, a few new staff positions may be required.

In respect of the Special Education programme, it is the aim of the ministry to embrace everyone through the well-established policy of inclusion.

“In this regard, we will establish an Autism Center where the relevant children, their parents, teachers from the Cotton-Thomas Comprehensive School, and selected teachers from mainstream schools, will receive specialised training,” said Minister Carty.

“There will be increasing focus on the implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for our special students. For some students, this will require special equipment and materials not yet available,” said the Education minister.

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