NATCOM (SKN) – Basseterre: June 26, 2014: The Ministry of Education in St. Christopher and Nevis welcomed members of a UNESCO technical advisory team on a three-day sensitization visit in preparation for an upcoming Education Sector Policy Review and Sector Strategic Plan.
Dr. Neva Pemberton, Education Planner in Nevis and National Coordinator for the review process revealed that the team visited both St. Kitts and Nevis to conduct their initial assessments. They .familiarized key persons with the stages of the process as well as what would be required of them.
Dr. Pemberton explained, “In order for the Ministry to develop an impactful strategic plan in a timely and efficient manner, technical expertise and assistance are required. We requested that assistance from UNESCO which graciously accepted.”
She added that Ministries of Education across the Eastern Caribbean adopted the OECS Education Sector Strategy in 2012 with a vision of “Every Learner Succeeding”. As such, the Ministry which had been guided by its White Paper on Education since 2009 reviewed its existing policy to align with the OECS policy.
Commenting on UNESCO’s longstanding co-operation with the Federation, Team Leader and Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems Mr. David Atchoarena said that UNESCO having recently completed a technical mission specific to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), was ready to move forward on another phase of assistance to the Federation.
Mr. Atchoarena expressed that the meetings would not be limited to Education officials. “We are also going to meet with representatives of the community at large; civil society organizations and private sector representatives so that we will have a good understanding … of where the major challenges are as perceived by a broad range of stakeholders.”
Education officials at the sensitization session expressed what they deemed critical issues in advancing the sector including the standardization of processes among primary and secondary schools; social promotion; succession planning; staff management; in-service support, as well as transition from primary to high school, among others.
The UNESCO Official (Atchoarena) shared with participants the intended roadmap for the review; steps in policy formulation generally, the format that the policy review would take; as well as the timeline for its completion.
Education Specialist from the UNESCO, Jamaica Cluster Office, Mr. Robert Parua who was also a member of the visiting team, informed the Education officials that as a member of the United Nations, the Federation is in a position to benefit from some of its policies and standards in the area of human development including Education.
The review is expected to be completed in seven months and should be handed over in January of 2015.
Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Antonio Maynard said he was certain that the mission would run smoothly given UNESCO’s expertise as the leading global agency on Education matters and its longstanding relations with the Federation.
The team met with Minister of Education and Information, Hon. Nigel Carty and Permanent Secretary of Education Mrs. Ionie Liburd-Willett during the visit.