The Ministry of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence began day one of a two-day national consultation to develop an education sector plan for the island.
The goal is to include climate resilience and gender responsiveness in education.
The workshop aims to improve the sector’s access, quality, participation and relevance, governing, finance and management.
Newly appointed Minster for Education, Octavia Alfred was the featured speaker and committed her best efforts to the plan’s development
At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, January 8th, Minister Alfred rejoiced that gender equality is already evident in Dominica’s administration.
“The idea is to also reflect this within the wider society and in the education system by tailoring instruction to ensure that all our children have an equal chance at success.
“I am aware that in comparison to our girls, our boys continue to under perform both in internal and external examinations. In keeping with our vision, ‘Every Learner Succeeds’, it is our responsibility this disparity and target the specific learning needs of all our children. At every level, it is our goal as Ministry to ensure that girls and boys have equal access to learning opportunities and that there is fair treatment across the board,” Alfred explained.
Measures were identified to enable greater participation of girls in sports and physical education, encouraging the equal representation of both sexes in the curriculum. These targets are intended to ensure removal of any vestiges of gender prejudice in the education system and to increase participation and achievement by all students.
She also disclosed that the Ministry of Education plans to development a system which improves student’s readiness for natural disasters.
According to her, “the Ministry of Education has made marked progress in this regard,extending its focus past the physical school infrastructure to training of students, teachers, school leaders in ways to respond to threats. ”
Environmental education is also a factor included in the Education Sector Plan as a cross-cutting programme. The plan conveys that sound management of natural resources, along with energy conservation and prudent waste management are necessary for sustainable socio-economic development.
The consultation will continue into Thursday 9th January, where stakeholders will sit with the Ministry of Education as well as the project’s consultant, Marcus Edwards and the Caribbean Development Bank to prepare the Education Sector Plan for implementation.
Teachers and principals were the main stakeholders and the project is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank through the Canadian government.