MESSAGE OF THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, DR TIM GOPEESINGH
ON THE REOPENING OF SCHOOL, TERM II OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2014/2015.
As we move into 2015, the Ministry of Education takes pride and notes our tremendous success over the last 4½ years in its major transformative, re-engineering and retooling processes in the creation of a major paradigm shift in our education system.
Trinidad and Tobago stands as a world leader amongst nations, for our education system, having achieved Universal Early Childhood Care and Education, coupled with the existing Universal Primary and Universal Secondary education, as well as Universal Tertiary education up to the undergraduate level, with 50% of fees paid for the Masters’ and PhD programmes.
We have provided over 95,000 laptops to students, over 5,000 to Teachers, Principals and School Supervisors; we have also trained thousands of teachers in ICT and infusion of ICT into the Curriculum. All of our Secondary schools have been equipped with functioning Computer Labs, as well as over 300 primary schools. We now also have 21st century Smart Classrooms with Audio Visual Labs, in a number of our schools.
The Ministry of Education is continuing to coordinate with our major stakeholders for Special Needs students (Inclusive Education Model), so that the majority of these Special Needs students are brought under that programme, while work continues with the 14 private and 11 public Special Needs Schools.
The Student Support Services Division of the Ministry of Education now has close to 700 personnel including Guidance Officers; Guidance Counsellors; School Social Workers; Clinical, Behavioural and Educational Psychologists; who deal with students’ issues on a daily basis.
Enhancement Learning Centres have also been established for counselling of difficult students. In addition, through the Ministry’s Student Support Services Division, in collaboration with hundreds of private and public sector employers, over 70,000 secondary school students have been through two-day Career Guidance Workshops at a national level.
Furthermore, over 100 Parenting Workshops have been held throughout Trinidad and Tobago, attracting thousands of parents who are now part of our Parent Academy in Education.
Literacy and Numeracy has improved significantly among our students, with 2014 seeing the best academic achievements ever in our nation’s history, in the SEA, CSEC and CAPE, with marked improved in all three examinations.
We have constructed over 83 new schools with another 90 under construction and completed over 4,500 infrastructural, repair and maintenance projects, in over 850 schools.
With respect to the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), more secondary schools are now engaging in the CVQ Level 1, up from 42 to 102 schools, with improved performance.
The Ministry of Education has facilitated the training and retraining of thousands of Teachers in areas of ADR, Mediation, Language Arts, Mathematics, ICT, etc. All Primary School teachers now possess Bachelors’ of Education certification or have been trained at the Teacher Training Colleges.
The Ministry of Education is also working assiduously with the Teaching Service Commission to fill vacancies for the posts of Principal, Vice Principal, Head of Department, Dean and Teacher.
The Education Ministry has undergone major organisational restructuring and institutional strengthening; a strong Human Resource Management Information System is now being developed.
Major Curriculum reform has been completed in the Primary and the Early Childhood, Care and Education (ECCE) curricula, while the Secondary curriculum reform is now being completed. More students are now participating in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, including sports.
The Ministry of Education remains focused, having delivered over 90% of the promises made by government in 2010, we strive to complete the other 10% and to carry the education sector to continued outstanding achievement.
We wish all of our over 250,000 students, 16,000 plus Teachers, 1,000 plus Administrators, 4,000 education sector employees and our many education stakeholders, including TTUTA, NPTA and the Denominational Boards of Education, continued success, good health and happiness for 2015 and beyond, in our lifelong journey in Education.
For further information please contact the Corporate Communications Division, Ministry of Education: ph:628-1581