New Ministry Policy to increase students’ in-class time

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 11, 2010 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Education is ensuring students focus more on the business of actual learning by being more engaged in the classroom.

Permanent Secretary Mr. Osmond Petty told SKNIS that increased Student Engagement Time is the goal of the new policy.

A recent meeting of the White Paper Implementation Committee focused on the upcoming school year and the importance of managing the extra curricular activities of students in order to reduce distractions to the tabled subjects.

White Paper Implementation Committee members agreed to a new stipulation that all agencies and other groups that require the participation of school children in their programmes submit their intent prior to the start of the school year. Additionally, they will be required to work around the schools’ calendar of activities.

One Committee member commented on the fact that in many instances school students become a captive audience for all types of “non-school” related events for the purpose of filling seats and presenting an impression of event success.

As such, approval will be granted only to those requests that add significant value to the children’s developmental experience and which are age and needs appropriate.

Mr. Petty added that it was important for students to have as much time in class as possible to ensure that they will be suitably prepared when sitting examinations as they would have received the necessary amount of attention required to assist them in their understanding of the subject matter.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included the roll-out of laptops for school students, education awareness month and the start of students councils in primary and secondary schools.

Mr. Petty told SKNIS that raising leaders and empowering students is the overall objective of several of these interventions.

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