The Ministry of Education officially welcomed back hundreds of teachers for the 2018/2019 academic year at the Rivers of Living Water Christian Centre, on Monday August 27.
The Ministry was particularly pleased to extend a warm welcome to forty (40) new teachers, whose diverse areas of expertise will surely build upon an already remarkable education sector.
Chief Education Officer, Dr. Tricia Esdaille, echoed sentiments of an enriching and rewarding year ahead and took the opportunity to extend best wishes to the teaching fraternity while urging them to continue to work with the administration.
“We have delivered and are continuing to deliver our pledge to raise standards. But, for all our progress, more is required to meet the challenges our federation will face in the years to come,” advised Dr. Esdaille. “our objectives are clear: excellence and opportunity for all students. An expectation that every child can succeed and that the great majority should succeed. No child written off.”
The Minister of Education, Hon. Shawn Richards pledged the Ministry’s commitment to advancing the sector by making strategic investments in not only the students but staff as
He stated that, “indeed the planning and delivery of education continues to be a public-private partnership. And partnership is certainly among our core values in the ministry of education. We Know that the needs of the education sector are unlimited but the resources available to the government for the attainment of goals are limited.”
He referenced the joint partnership with the University of the West Indies and the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. It is proposed that this partnership will introduce a Master’s in Education programme in St. Kitts & Nevis.
Teachers who qualify will have the opportunity to complete their degree in fifteen (15) months, while only paying half the cost of the programme, the ministry will cover the remainder.
The Minister also reminded the teachers that their work is primarily to guide the students’ growth and development.
“The responsibility to mold and fashion the present and future generations continues to be that of teachers primarily. It is a sacred responsibility that we must all embrace. As teachers and administrators, we are strategically positioned to shape the character, caliber and future of our students,” said Minister Richards. “I want to encourage our teachers to be ever mindful of the immense responsibility that you bear. You have chosen this profession and I urge you all to carry out all your duties with positive distinction and zeal.”
As the Ministry continues to engage new talents, the Director of Education in Antigua and Barbuda and past educator, Mr. Clare Browne, gave the feature address at this year’s ceremony as the Ministry prepares to tackle the new academic year.
“A teacher’s work involves preparing other people for opportunities that they themselves very often never get to take advantage of, selfless, sacrificial, and altruistic,” he said, while graciously addressing the teachers. “It is perhaps that the work of a teacher is so ubiquitous, all pervading, that we do not recognize how necessary it is and how devastating the consequences of its absence could be.”
Permanent secretary, Mr. Vincent Hodge announced major changes in the Ministry of Education effective September 3.
Some of these changes are as follows: Roger Woodley will join the staff at the Department of Education as an education officer; Lisa Pistana will advance to Senior Education Officer; Mrs. Debbie Isaac advances to the position of Deputy Chief Education Officer, while Daryll Lloyd will be the Chief Education Officer; and Dr. Tricia Esdaille will advance to the post of senior assistant secretary.
Teachers will continue to prepare for the school year over the course of the next several days before opening up their classroom doors for students on Monday September 3.