Hon. Dr. Robert Lewis, Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Castries South.
BUDGET DEBATE 2013/2014 SUMMARY
The Ministry of Education continues to enjoy a huge chunk of the Budget. A deliberate effort was made not to compromise the education of our people.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Cabinet has endorsed the Early Childhood Policy. This is in keeping with the manifesto pronouncements that government will seek to establish Universal Early Childhood Education in Saint Lucia.
It is important to sensitize our children early and provide every child with an opportunity.
One of the issues addressed under this policy is the standardization of practice in the early childhood sector. It is important that every centre is doing the same to ensure comparability. More training will be provided in this financial year.
The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College has begun consultation with a college in Canada, to ensure that the Training Division for Teacher Education will begin to provide certification for early childhood education.
Students at the Division of Arts and Science will begin the CAPE in September 2013. Saint Lucia is the only country that has not endorsed this Programme in CARICOM although it is currently being offered by the Vieux-Fort Comprehensive Secondary School. The Ministry will move to do so in this academic year.
Bachelors of Education with an emphasis on mathematics will be introduced at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College effective September 2013.
The subsidy will continue. The government continues to subsidize education at a high rate.
The GOSL will continue to provide the $500 support for first time entrants to Secondary School. The criteria remain:
1. The child has written the exam;
2. The child has been accepted into a Secondary School;
3. The parent or guardian has requested the allowance for accountability purposes.
Rehabilitation of School Plants: The Micoud Primary School is currently under construction. Other schools will be refurbished in this financial year, as highlighted in the Prime Minister’s Budget Address.
ICT in Education: The Government continues to encourage this Programme. Over $8 million has been allocated.
Laptops will be given to every child who enters Form Four in September 2013. There will be no discrimination, as every child deserves a proper education. This is in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, who will also assist with the training of teachers. From September 2014, this laptop will be given to Form One students.
This policy commences in September 2013.
Every student shall be permitted four choices of secondary schools to be selected as per the following procedure:
The first, second and third choices shall be ( in order of preference) from the twenty three (23) public secondary schools;
The fourth choice must be a school selected from the child’s residential zone. The mapping zones must be adhered to in selecting the fourth choice.
The following schools should not be considered as a fourth choice: Castries Secondary, Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary, Leon Hess Secondary, St. Mary’s College and St. Joseph’s Convent do not fall into restrictive zones.
In cases where the school chosen as the fourth choice does not have space, the student shall be assigned to the next school which is closest to his/her place of residence where there is space.
The cost of transportation and other relation social issues must be considered in the selection of schools outside a student’s zone.
Transfers within zones will be facilitated by the District Education Officer. All other transfers shall be approved by the Chief Education Officer.
Transfers will not be permitted for students enrolled at the Form 1 level. In extenuating circumstances a child may be granted a transfer by the district education officer or chief education officer.
Schools have been placed in geographic zones or districts.
Because of the high demand over subscription or demand to the
First three choices can be made to any one of the 24 Secondary Schools on the island. However, the fourth choice must be from a school in the zone.
GROS-ISLET/BABONNEAU-Babonneau Secondary, Gros Islet Secondary, Corinth Secondary
CASTRIES/ANSE LA RAYE-Bocage Secondary, Ciceron Secondary, Entrepôt Secondary, George Charles Secondary, Marigot Secondary, Sir Ira Simmons Secondary, Vide Bouteille Secondary.
SOUFRIERE/CANARIES-Soufriere Comprehensive, Choiseul Secondary, Marigot Secondary.
CHOISEUL/LABORIE-Choiseul Secondary, Piaye Secondary.
VIEUX-FORT-Vieux-Fort Technical Secondary, Piaye Secondary.
MICOUD- Micoud Secondary, Anse Ger Secondary.
DENNERY-Clendon Mason Memorial, Grande Rivière Secondary.
REORGANIZATION OF SCHOOLS IN VIEUX-FORT
The Vieux-Fort Primary and Technical Secondary schools will become a single compound to accommodate a Secondary School.
The Vieux-Fort Primary School will move to the current compound of Campus A.
Campus B will be transform into a five stream Secondary School to include sixth form.
The Ministry continues to lead the thrust to provide jobs for our people. Under the policy of this administration, eighty two young people who have never worked before were employed under NICE to become Principal and IT Assistants. There has been no discrimination in the selection process.
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