November 23, 2016 - On Friday 11th November, the Minister and his delegation comprising the Principal Secretary for Education, Dr Odile Decomarmond; Special Advisor for Education, Mrs Merida Delcy; the Director General for Schools, Ms Odile Octave; the Director for Secondary Schools, Dr Veronique Figaro and the Director for Primary Schools, Mr Cyril Pillay visited Takamaka primary, Anse Royale primary and Anse Royale secondary schools respectively. At the different schools Minister Morgan met with the head teachers as well as the school's management teams.
The aim of the visits in schools is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors allowing educational institutions to thrive and more importantly, as well as those hampering the progress of schools. This is being done with a view of improving the quality of education further so as to raise learning outcomes across all key stages. The Minister also wanted to familiarise himself with the settings of the schools, the infrastructure and learning resources.
Some of the common problems which the headteachers of all three schools had voiced out in a frank discussion with the Minister and his delegation were to do with shortage of human resources, teacher absenteeism, quality and quantity of books and other essential resources which limit the capacity of the teachers to deliver lessons effectively, and parental involvement. Disruptive behaviour and disciplinary misconduct of students, quality of education and administration of management and curriculum were other problems raised. Furthermore, they asked for recognition for all their hard work and effort.
The head teacher of Takamaka primary school, Ms Magda Rose reported that her school has a very active School Council which is contributing positively to the running and development of the school and she described the ethos of her school as being one that is calm and condusive to learning. In terms of achievement, the school proudly reported on their consistent good performance in the National Examinations for the past 20 years.
From Takamaka primary school, the Minister and his delegation visited Anse Royale primary school. Mrs Sonia Mancienne, the head teacher described her school as a "moving" school, where there is good teamwork and commitment towards improving the academic performance of sudents. The Minister was also informed of the school's reputation for upholding the principles of the Eco-School.
Ms Cecile Marcel, the Headteacher of Anse Royale secondary school which the Minister and his delegation also visited the same day said that she has a good manangement team and that the school has started to put in place a robust monitoring mechanism to monitor teaching and learning. However, the workload of the Heads of Departments and the Special Needs Coordinator at school inhibits them from supporting the students and teachers.
The next series of visits will be to the schools on islands on Wednesday 23rd November 2016.