Statement from the Minister of Education: 2018 a year of improvement

2018 has been a rollercoaster year for all of us in education. We have pushed, worked hard and persevered. I take this opportunity to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of the teachers, principals, parents, students and stakeholders that have come together to put education first, ensuring the success of nation’s future. We were able within this year to see the best academic performance in the Caribbean Secondary Entrance Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) in the past 10 years. We were able to see the achievement of one young man in the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) as he attained 100% in all three components and the continued increase in student performance in the SEA. This year we reviewed the National School’s Code of Conduct, held Public Consultation on the Draft Education Policy, formed committees, reviewed and implemented cost saving measures pertaining to the School Feeding Programme and School Transport Service offered in conjunction with the Public Transport Services Commission (PTSC).

In this past year we were shaken by many unforeseen challenges that posed threats to our students’ ability in some cases to attend classes or have access to the quality education that the Ministry of Education is committed to delivering but with the support of stakeholders like the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA), Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), the Denominational Boards of Management and Principals Associations we have been shaken but have never been held down. We have been able to strategically and effectively ensure that our students are in receipt of a quality education no matter the circumstance.

It has not all been smooth sailing or easy for us, this year two natural disasters affected a number of our schools causing staff and students to be displaced in some instances but we remained resilient. Teachers, principals and parents found innovative ways to ensure curriculum delivery while the Ministry worked to return the schools to a state of normalcy and we will continue to work to have all our students return to comfortable spaces for curriculum delivery.

This year we were able to create employment through the renewal and offering of over five hundred contract positions in the Information and Communication Technology Division, Early Childhood Care and Education Division, Student Support Services Division, Multicultural Music Programme Unit and various other units and departments across the Ministry of Education. These employees have been a welcome addition to the compliment of staff at the Ministry and have already hit the ground running in the execution of their duties.

We have continued our focus on student achievement through the development and monitoring of students through the Form One Initiative, Penmanship with a Purpose programme and our flagship initiative the Laventille / Morvant Schools’ Improvement Project (LMSIP) centred on; Literacy and Numeracy, Parenting in Education, School Safety and Security and Infrastructure, and we will be moving with a fervour and drive for success into 2019.

To all students, teachers, parents, stakeholders, employees of the Ministry of Education and the national community I wish you all a prosperous, favourable and successful 2019. May we together, deliver to Trinidad and Tobago a secure future through the delivery of quality education that is accessible and equitable to all. It is my commitment for 2019, that we will all work toward achieving an output of citizens into our country that are holistically developed and committed to excellence in every aspect of their lives.

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