Prior to the start of the 2016 school year for primary and secondary schools across the country, the Minister for Education Mrs Macsuzy Mondon met with all the 34 head teachers in the presence of some high officials of the Ministry on Thursday 14th January at 9.00 am in the Minister' Conference room.
The main purpose of the special meeting was to touch base with the head teachers, introduce the new ones, reiterate President's Michel call for an audit on service delivery of all ministries, and set the tone for the collective, effective and dynamic start of this school year.
Minister Mondon started off by welcoming the head teachers to the meeting and wished them a Happy New year 2016. She informed them that today's meeting is special compared to previous years and that the customary technical meeting will be held next week once the budget allocation is ready.
She then went on to introduce the six newly appointed headteachers, Primary- Mrs Monique Lesperance -Baie Ste Anne Praslin is replacing Ms Magda Rose; Ms Julina Agathine –Beau Vallon is replacing Mrs Vivienne Preira; Ms Sheila Radegonde – La Retraite is replacing Mrs Edwige Renaud who has resigned; Mr Daniel Bristol (acting) replacing Ms Sabrina Agathine who has resigned;
Secondary – Ms Raymonde Lavigne replacing Mrs Ghislaine Monthy who has retired and Ms Cecile Marcel who was previously acting head teacher in the same school was confirmed in post, and two primary transfers – Ms Magda Rose –from Baie Ste Anne, Praslin to Takamaka to replace Mrs Sylvia Alcindor who has retired, and Mrs Vivienne Preira – Glacis who has been transferred from Beau Vallon.
She then thanked them for accepting this rather challenging responsibility and wished them along with the others a peaceful and successful 2016 school year. She also seized the opportunity to thank the outgoing head teachers for their years of devoteful service and wish them the very best in their retirement or future endeavours.
She then drew the head teachers' attention to the "Performance Audit Exercise" that all ministries have been asked to carry out by President Michel in the first Cabinet of Ministers' meeting after his re-election late last year. She also reminded them in line with the President's observation, of the need for all of us to keep the public informed of what we are doing, our achievements and provide explanations to problems not addressed. Adherence to such a practice should minimize or leave no room for rumours.
She invited them to take full advantage of the Ministry's website which was launched in November 2015 and other means to communicate to the public, and to access not only the relevant documents but to be kept informed of what is going on in our Ministry. She pointed out that as a Ministry we achieved a lot in 2015 but we failed to disseminate fully our success at all levels in the system.
Regarding the "Performance Audit Exercise" in line with service delivery, the head teachers were informed of what has been done to date at the level of headquarters and that the staff's contributions will be useful for the formulation of the Ministry's "Policy on Quality Service Standards" in the Ministry, later this year. The head teachers were asked to conduct the same exercise that they participated in last week at headquarters with all their staff. This is essential for all of us as members of the Ministry who are providing a service to our clients.
She informed the head teachers that we all have to work harder in order that we could all contribute in an even more effective way to achieve the objectives of the Government. At this point, she joined the President to acknowledge that there are staff members who are conscientious and committed but there are some individuals who failed to perform and need to be counseled. We must admit that at times we have been tolerant at all levels of the Ministry and allow a lot of things to go through but there comes a time when necessary actions need to be taken.
What we want to achieve is the commitment from all members of staff to providing and improving the quality of services that we deliver to the public and this should be mainstream within the whole of our Ministry. It should be an integral part of the way that we function both in our internal operations and also in our external interface with the general public.
She also reminded the head teachers that we have to build on the positive elements and use the existing frameworks to guide our operations. We have our 'Medium Term Strategy" (MTS) which is our roadmap for the next few years. Its launching in April 2015 was an occasion for us to share our achievements with our partners and the general public. At this conjuncture, she once again seize the opportunity to thank all the staff and stakeholders for their contributions that enabled the Ministry to formulate such an ambitious plan that we are all working hard towards its successful implementation.
As a mean of ensuring the successful implementation of our roadmap, she invited the head teachers to start this school year by reflecting on what we could do to better improve the image of our schools, hence, so that our customers and the public in general will begin to appreciate a positive change at all levels in our education system. She went on to suggest some areas that could be addressed to show the difference as of Monday 18th January, such as:-
She called upon the head teachers to be more vigorous in the manner they lead, be smarter in the way they do things, be more dynamic and ensure the positive change at management level cascades to all levels in their respective schools. They should be seen to have departed from what we may call the 'business as usual syndrome'. They need to make a real difference in the way they lead their schools to satisfy the clients that we serve in our Ministry.
To conclude Minister Mondon once again thanked the Head teachers for having accepted to take or carry on the responsibility of headship so that they could help to take our education system forward and for their hard work in 2015. She appealed to them to adopt a culture of sharing the good things that are happening in our schools and wish them and their staff a pleasant and prosperous 2016. She also thanked the media for their on-going support before conveying some general information, suggestions and expectations to the head teachers in the 2016 school year.