Education Minister proud of 2022 achievements

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly – File photo

As she looked back on the last year, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gasdby-Dolly said she was proud of the long list of achievements made by the ministry.

She also said the ministry has many projects in the pipeline for 2023.

Dr Gadsby-Dolly said in 2023, the primary school music programme will be implemented, to institute music education in primary schools, including exposure to the national and other instruments, national songs, institutionalisation of school productions, and participation in national competitions.

She said approval had been granted for the Patriotism Policy for Schools, including explicit practices which will ensure that young citizens know and understand the culture of TT, and that national pride is inculcated.

Other digital programmes to be implemented include digitalisation on the teacher registration and application process; increasing digitalisation of HR processes for teachers; restocking of school computer laboratories in preparation for expanded e-testing for CXC examinations; expansion of e-classrooms pilot to all schools; completion of student and teacher records digitisation; and launch of the e-book platform.

Partnership programmes will include a volunteer mentorship program with the introduction of youth and parent mentors at schools to offer guidance and support; and partnerships between secondary schools and public post-secondary technical institutions for increased student exposure and participation.

Other projects will include implementation of approved measures to address learning loss in 106 schools of focus; TVET rationalisation program among public post-secondary institutions; launch of the updated education policy document; and continued focus on school infrastructural upgrade.

Chief among the ministry’s achievements in 2022, she said in a statement on her Facebook page on Saturday, was the successful phased transition from home-based to face-to-face physical schooling.

Another was over 1,000 students receiving assistance for tertiary education through national scholarships and bursaries, marking an increase of over 200 students assisted. The minister said without bursaries, a maximum of 800 students would have received assistance.

Other achievements, she noted, included the expansion of the range of students receiving national scholarships, with ten scholarships being awarded in each cognate group versus a previous 70 per cent to medical studies students in the natural sciences cognate group; approval of the TT national qualifications framework which allows for standardised learning outcomes and comparability of technical and academic training levels; and 106 schools identified as schools of focus for learning-loss mitigation, 26 secondary, 80 primary.

Administrative initiatives include ongoing digitalisation of student and teacher records; digital attendance records and e-classrooms being piloted in 60 schools; the imminent award of the ebook platform tender; e-testing expansion for CXC January 2023 exams being piloted; and digital e-resources created for Math, English and Spanish, among others.

Infrastructure projects included 13 new schools/school blocks completed over two years; infrastructural repair projects completed in over 500 schools, and continuing; approval granted for significant refurbishment works at 30 schools in academic year 2022/23; and approval granted to complete construction of seven new schools/school blocks.

Partnerships with private sector organisations saw an increase in schools benefitting from corporate intervention as well as active partnership with the TTPS for greater student support in 17 schools.

Personnel changes included the assignment of learning resource assistants and the approval to hire and assign dedicated school social workers, guidance councillors and special education instructors; and support to the Teaching Service Commission to expedite the filling of vacancies for teachers, principals and other school support staff.

The minister said over 120 schools were visited and over 7,000 laptops were procured and distributed with a total of 63,000 devices distributed to teachers and students in two years.