12 Jan 2017 - The Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Mr. Joel Morgan, held a first meeting to mark the beginning of the new school year 2017 on Thursday, 12 January 2017. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretaries for Education, Dr. Odile Decomarmond, and Human Resource Development, Dr. Linda Barallon, Chief Executive Officers, Members of the Senior Management team, Directors, education institution leaders and their management teams, Board Members of Professional Centres, Chairpersons of School Councils, and PTA Chairpersons.
Minister Morgan started the meeting by expressing his gratitude for the invaluable contribution and support of everyone throughout 2016. He made a special mention of appreciation and gratitude to the Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon who led the Education team for so many years and for all their accomplishments.
In his introductory remarks Minister Morgan noted that the start of the New Year is an opportune time for us to recollect our thoughts and ponder on what we have been able to accomplish and what have been our setbacks.
Minister Morgan then continued his address by highlighting the main plans of the Ministry for 2017, focussing on areas such as the the Medium Term Strategic Plan 2013-2017, which is the Ministry's road map and on-going engagement to transform the education and training landscape; the Programme Performance Based Budgeting (PPBB) which has allowed the Ministry to exercise greater fiscal discipline and accountability in the implementation of its budget allocations since its inception in 2014; Service delivery and Customer Care; Capacity Building - the empowerment of teachers and other staff as a fundamental element towards achieving quality education; some of the existing ongoing Capital Projects and new Capital Projects for 2017 for which over 121 million rupees under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) has been secured for the construction of new buildings, upgrading of electrical system and procurement of equipment and furniture for schools.
Minister Morgan also noted that the Ministry continues to invest in educational resources for the effective implementation of the curriculum through the procurement of text books for the teaching of Mathematics, Information Communication Technology equipment, Science equipment, Physical Education materials and equipment, and other educational tools.
In addition to the efforts of the Ministry to provide quality education, parental involvement in the education process of the child is becoming increasingly important in an era where education systems are being pressured to yield better learning outcomes in the face of various social ills, the Minister said, and for that the Ministry has launched a Campaign on parental involvement in 2016 which needs to be sustained and strengthened.
The Minister also mentioned some of the changes to be implemented within the Ministry with the restructuring of the organisation and to ensure the principles of good governance, accountability and transparency are promoted throughout. Furthermore, the Minister noted that during his visits to schools and Professional Centres late last year, the challenges and concerns that were raised that are impeding the teaching and learning process have been the basis of some of the changes that will be put in place at the start of the 2017 school year, and for further research which will be conducted.
In his concluding remarks this morning the Minister for Education and Human Resource Development reminded everyone present that as educators we should always be mindful of the nation's high expectations with regard to education; as it can improve the quality of one's life and lead to broad social benefits for individuals and society. Therefore there is the need to continue to provide students with all competencies and skills required to take them beyond the secondary education to the world of work.