Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 25, 2016 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Education is working to develop plans to guide education development and policy action over the next five years in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Speaking at the Education Sector Plan Programme Development (ESPPD) Workshop on Tuesday, February 23, Dr. Neva Pemberton, Education Planner in Nevis and National Coordinator for Education Sector Plan Development, stated that in this regard the Ministries of Education on both islands have made significant strides.
“Drawing from both the recommendations of and consultations on a number of external and internal analyses of education provision in the Federation, such as the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Education Policy Reviews conducted by UNESCO, and the ministry-prepared Education Sector Diagnosis, the Ministry of Education has successfully answered the first two questions in the strategic planning process,” said Dr. Pemberton. “The first being: where are we now? Or what is the state of education?, and the second being: where do we want to go or, in other words, what are the policy goals that should be pursued through plan implementation from 2016-2020?”
Dr. Pemberton said that there are three overarching policy goals that will guide the development of the sector plan in the Federation. These she stated were collaboratively agreed upon by the senior leadership in both the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministries of Education. The policy goals are, to improve equitable access to participation in education at all levels; to strengthen the quality and relevance of education at all levels in order to improve learning outcomes; and to enhance governance, planning and management to improve efficiency and effectiveness throughout the sector.
The education planner cautioned her fellow educators that the task before them is not easy.
“Colleagues, the road ahead will not be easy, but if we can successfully tackle these three overarching goals, the Ministry of Education will be able to significantly improve service delivery for all learners,” she said. “In doing so, the Ministry will also be responding proactively to national sustainable development goals, the strategic imperatives outlined in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Education Strategy, as well as the global agenda for education which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promote life-long learning.”
She noted that with the sector priorities established, the task before the education planners for the week and throughout the month of March is to answer the third question in strategic planning. “How do we get there? What are the strategies that should be developed in order to reach policy objectives?”
Mr. Marcus Edwards, Consultant and Chief Education Officer in St. Lucia, gave an overview of the workshop and noted that the strategic plan is an organization’s roadmap.
“The development of a plan, an education sector plan in St. Kitts and Nevis has taken and will take considerable effort and time but I am confident that the final output which is that roadmap for the education sector and the ministry in general will be realised,” he said. “This week we commence the development of the strategic programmes. Nothing mysterious, just a selection of key strategies, identification of resource needs, expected outcomes for those broadly defined goals which Dr. Pemberton has alluded to.”
St. Lucia’s Chief Education Officer has echoed his pleasure in assisting the Ministry of Education in St. Kitts and Nevis in the development of the five year strategic plan and noted that the plan represents a major milestone in the Government’s policy to transform the education sector into an effective and relevant mechanism for the development of the country’s human resource base.