(EMU) – St. Kitts, August, 29, 2017: Enthusiastic and devoted teachers from around the island of St. Kitts assembled at the Rivers of Living Water Christian Centre on Monday 28th August, for the opening ceremony of the 2017 Summer Workshops. Under the theme: ‘Education for All: Embracing the change, Securing the future,’ the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Hon. Shawn Richards, along with top ranking education officials were in attendance to address and welcome the teachers. This year the Ministry of Education extended the workshops to focus more on the teachers’ abilities so that they may function more effectively in the classroom. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. William Hodge, during his remarks, urged the teachers to fully immerse themselves in the workshops’ activities, as their knowledge gained would only improve their ability to effectively train and develop the nation’s youth.
“Think students first, I am convinced that if all of us as educators ‘think students first,’ our behaviour, action, speech, commitment and attitude would be different and will have the desired impact on the lives of the students in our care,” stated Permanent Secretary Hodge.
Mr. Hodge also announced several promotions and transfers for this academic year, specifically the promotion of Mr. Sylvester Charles and Mrs. Janelle Williams Jacobs to the post of Education Officers.
Commending the teachers for their unwavering commitment to public education the Minister of Education, Hon. Shawn Richards declared, “The Government of St. Kitts Nevis and specifically the Ministry of Education is heartened by the level of commitment, dedication [and] hard work displayed every day in our classrooms and in our schools by many Teachers, Librarians, Principals, Education Officers and other Education Officials. Personally, I wish to offer my indebtedness to you for being the difference maker in the lives of the nation’s children.”
He continued, “The Ministry of Education has begun the implementation of the 2017-2021 Education Sector Plan. This provides the blueprint by which this transformation will continue. Our Ministry is continuing its drive to build the capacity of teachers and principals to deliver a world class education to our students. It is for this reason that the revised Summer Workshops are highly recommended. Teachers and principals are encouraged to take these workshops with the utmost seriousness and to ensure that the knowledge and skills acquired over the next four (4) days are used to enhance the instructional and administrative processes in our learning communities.”
The featured speaker for this year’s workshop was Mrs. Pauline Locker-Bailey. As a past educator within the Federation she employed teachers to always be proactive in the classroom, take their role seriously, and with the utmost commitment. She advised, “Teachers should not only see themselves as facilitators of the learning process, but realize that there can be relationships between teachers and students which respect the boundaries of professionalism and integrity while transcending the exchange of ideas and information in the classroom.”
The Ministry also introduced twenty-five (25) new teachers this year at the opening ceremony; the teachers were selected from the recently conducted Pre-Service Training. The teachers were all encouraged to pay close attention to the training as it is one of the tools being implemented by the Ministry. The Summer Workshops are currently being conducted at the various high and primary schools around the island from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily.