Strategic Planning Charts The Way Forward For Education In The Federation, Says Education Minister

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 28, 2015 (SKNIS): The Honourable Shawn Richards, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education has embraced the need to reshape the way forward for education for the Ministry of Education (MOE).  This will be explored at a two-day workshop on the Education Policy Review Validation and Sector Strategy Planning at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI), which commenced today, Wednesday, October 28.  Minister Richards said that “strategic planning in education provides the ministry a path to follow, to bring about the goals of the education system by responding to existing obstacles and charting the way forward.” He said that this strategic planning will allow officials to better manage the education system proactively and to provide holistic education for all.

“Through effective planning, the Ministry of Education will also be better able to meaningfully contribute to national sustainable development goals and global education commitments to which St. Kitts and Nevis adheres,” he said, adding that St. Kitts and Nevis, like other countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), has embraced the sub-regional thrust to strengthen education sector planning and align national plans, where relevant, with the shared developmental imperatives outlined in the OECS Education Sector Strategy 2012-2020 (OESS).

Deputy Prime Minister Richards said that the Ministry of Education requested and attained technical expertise from UNESCO to conduct an external policy review which will subsequently guide the development of a medium-term education sector strategy. He stated this was done in order to facilitate improved strategic planning in the Federation.

Dr. Neva Pemberton, Education Planner in Nevis and National Coordinator for United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Policy Review, gave background information as to how they arrived at this important two-day workshop.

“Since 2009, education provision in the Federation has been guided by the policy priorities and strategies outlined in the White Paper on Education Development and Policy,” said Dr. Pemberton. “While implementation of the plan has contributed to quality improvements in the system, especially at the early childhood level and has led to critical investments in technical and vocational training for example, full implementation of the plan has proved difficult.”

This, she said, was largely because the plan needed a better monitoring and evaluation framework and the requisite cost in finance components to support efficient and effective plan execution.

The objectives of the workshop are to vet and validate UNESCO Education Policy Action and the Ministry of Education Sector Diagnosis and to identify relevant policy actions to inform the development of the Ministry of Education Sector Plan.

The workshop which is a collaborative effort between UNESCO and MOE comes to a close on Thursday, October 29.

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