CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 26, 2010) – Teachers on Nevis will return to the classrooms on September 6th, fully prepared to receive students, on completion of a number of workshops planned for the Back-to-School week from August 30th. That assurance came from Principal Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Lornette Queeley Connor, in a recent interview with the Department of Information.
She explained that the teachers would return one week ahead of the students to attend a range of activities hosted by the Department of Education under the new school year’s theme “Building the Future through Quality Education” with particular focus on school community relations.
“On August 30th we are having our Back to School opening ceremony and this will be held at the Nevis Cultural Centre at 8:45am. We are expecting to have remarks by the Premier who is responsible for Education as well as a keynote speaker who we have identified but would prefer not to name yet but I can say that this person is a former Minister of Education.
“The Tuesday we will see all teachers reporting to their respective schools where the principals will get a chance to familiarise themselves with the staff and they will go full speed on the plans for the rest of the school year,” she said.
That same day a two-day Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CNFI) workshop for select secondary school teachers will commence.
Wednesday and Thursday are slated for Counselling/IT and Physical Education workshops. There will also be a full day workshop for Mathematics teachers on Thursday.
“This will be for teachers for Common Exam classes, so that’s Grades 3-6 Primary and Forms 1-2 Secondary. That workshop should be facilitated by Mr. Kenneth Selkridge. He is a Nevisian who lives in the Virgin Islands.
“He would have published a book called Mathematics Dictionary. He would have made significant contributions to the schools already and so he wants to come back and share some of his expertise with our teachers and we are happy to have him,” she said.
On Friday the teachers will report to their respective schools at times prescribed by their principals and supervisors to participate in in-house based activities in preparation for Monday.
Meantime, Mrs. Queeley Connor noted that the Back-to-School activities revolved around many of the new initiatives that would be implemented when school reopened in September.
“One of them is the computer training. A full shipment of computers has arrived on Nevis for the primary schools and so we are hopeful, come September, every single government primary school will be fully equipped with computers. All schools will have computer teachers…
The other one is a workshop for Physical Education teachers. The Gingerland Secondary School has shown some interest in following the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) syllabus and they want to introduce PE as a subject that students can write at general proficiency for CXC. So we are training PE teachers at that level as well,” she said.
Mrs. Queeley Connor added that the Gingerland Secondary School would be used to pilot the CXC Music and Religious Education programmes because it was the smaller of the two secondary schools on Nevis.
The Principal Education officer said the Education Authorities hoped that the introduction of religious studies would subsequently assist with some of the social challenges that were being experienced among the youth on the island which included gang violence and unfavourable behaviour at school.
“We are hoping that through a programme as the CXC Religious Education we will be able to stem some of that negative behaviour.
“I must hasten to say though, I don’t want us to think that if one pursues a Religious Education Programme it’s about Christianity per say. We all want our students to be more rounded and the CXC programme actually speaks to Christianity and four or so other popular religions in our region. So it’s not just about Christianity. We are a largely Christian society and that actually forms the core of the syllabus but there will be other principles that religions around the region subscribe to and those sorts of things will also be highlighted,” she said.