Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has urged educators who were engaged in a week long summer institute, to sharpen their skill as their roles play a big part in the economy of the Virgin Islands.
Premier Fahie while addressing the opening of the training programme reminded the public and private school educators that their role is in the bigger picture of the plans for the Territory.
Premier Fahie said, “I know that you are asking, what does teaching have to do with all of this, but you are not just a main part of this plan you are a crucial and the beginning part of this plan.” He added, “The next solutions for financial services will come out of your classroom. The next solutions for the new economy are going to come out of your classrooms.”
The Premier who was once a teacher said educators are valuable and urged them to fuel up during the training in order to teach their students effectively in the upcoming school year.
“These forums are to gas you up… so please give it your all this school year and teach every child as if you are teaching your child,” the Premier added.
Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Connie George explained that the main areas of focus for the Summer Institute was Critical Literacy and Physical Literacy which was in keeping with the OECS Strategy Indicator 3.5.3 which focuses on “improving the quality of teaching and learning at all levels using learner-centred experiences. In addition to these two main areas of focus, several other sessions targeted specific groups of educators.
Mrs. Gorge added that the ministry of Education is committed to improving the quality of teaching and learning as well as improving student results and will continue to achieve its goals toward their mission of improving the system.
These goals she said include: continuing the Values Education Programme which focuses on morals; implementing more school gardens; creating more interschool competitions; promoting Virgin Islands Culture in all schools during BVI Culture and Heritage Week; reinforcing positive behavior; utilising the student information system platform; and improving student success.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary, Dr. Marcia Potter in remarks on behalf of the Minister for Education, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley pointed out that Professional Development for educators continues to be a very important area in the education sector.
Dr. Potter also stated that any teacher who is not performing at acceptable standards is doing students a disservice and the matter of teacher quality will be addressed.
She added, “The ministry will be working assiduously to get the training institute going again at the college that will train new teachers, facilitate on-going professional development and offer licencing for teachers.” Dr. Potter added, “Teacher quality is a great concern and it must be made clear that bad or incompetent teachers cannot continue in the system.”
The training was facilitated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture under the school year theme, ‘Engage, Encourage, Empower and Educate!’
All public and private educators were encouraged to attend the sessions and continue to sharpen their professional skills. The Institute concluded on Friday, August 30.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture strives to provide high quality education in order to enrich the lives of all residents of these Virgin Islands.