STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE SHARIE B. DE CASTRO
MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, YOUTH AFFAIRS & SPORTS
SECOND SITTING OF THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE FOURTH
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
THURSDAY, 26TH JANUARY, 2023
EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAMME
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to inform this Honourable House and this Community about the Effective Leadership Training Programme which commenced on January 18th through a partnership between the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports and The Institute of Education at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
Madam Speaker, four newly appointed principals and assistant principals and thirty aspiring principals comprise the cohort of educators who will be trained as part of this initiative. The position of the Ministry of Education is that effective school leadership is necessary for school success, teacher retention and student achievement. World-wide, regional and local data corroborates that thriving schools are led by visionary, transformational leaders who are innovative and driven to ensure that their students are exposed to engaging and effective learning opportunities. Against this backdrop, we have partnered with the Institute to develop a robust training programme intended to strengthen the leadership capacity of present and future school leaders and by extension strengthen this Territory’s schools.
Madam Speaker, the programme is comprised of face-to-face sessions on topics such as Instructional Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Leading Change and Innovation, Managing Human Resources and Leading Special Education, among others. Madame Speaker, modules such as Instructional Leadership will offer insight into the importance of monitoring classroom practice, identifying effective practice and supporting teachers to become experts in the classroom. Leadership requires Emotional Intelligence and this module provides insight into how leaders should expertly handle the varying personalities that undoubtedly comprise any organization. The Ministry has secured several local experts in the field of educational leadership to facilitate these three-hour sessions.
In addition, Madame speaker, the participants will be tasked with developing an e-portfolio to chronicle their growth and development as they move through the programme. They are also required to collaborate with other leaders at their school site to develop initiatives and programmes to address some of our school’s most pressing needs. The Ministry looks forward with anticipation to the increased leadership capacity that will result from this leadership training.
Madam Speaker, this school year the Ministry implemented mandatory professional development of 20 hours per teacher each school year. The Effective Leadership Training Programme is yet another avenue to fulfill that professional development requirement and to support teaching and learning in the Virgin Islands. I thank the team at the Ministry of Education and the Institute of Education at HLSCC for their continued commitment and I look forward to continued collaboration with the Institute and its affiliate universities to continue the Ministry’s mandate of increasing opportunities for training and development of educators in the Virgin Islands.
Thank you Madam Speaker.