Education reform needs more emphasis and vigour - President

31 May 2010 |

May 31, 2010 -- More emphasis and new vigour should be shown in carrying out the various aspects of the reforms in a more serious and dynamic manner. This was said by President James A Michel last night in the En Moman Avek Prezidan (Meeting the President) programme on SBC television.

He added that at the same time it is important to continue creating an environment where both teachers and students feel part of the reform and see the need for it to be a success.

The President said so far several aspects of the reform have been addressed, including a new scheme of service for teachers, which is very important.

But a lot more needs to be done, such as improving the management of schools, and of the education ministry itself, to ensure the style of management and planning better meets the needs of schools.

Mr Michel highlighted the main priority areas of the education reforms - to provide for the diversity of educational needs and national development; to guarantee quality education in schools; to improve the quality of teachers and the governance of educational institutions; and to create responsible and empowered students.

The introduction many years ago of free education for all opened the door for great opportunities in the education sector, Mr Michel said.

There have been several reforms over the years, and these are important as the education system evolves and the country's development needs in terms of educated cadres increase.

He said more effort should put into addressing the issue of discipline in schools to create  a more conducive environment for learning.

On this question of discipline, which is sometimes a problem in schools, Mr Michel said the reforms provide for a system where schools will have more autonomy, which will allow them to involve the community in the changes.

He said the discipline problem will not be resolved in the schools alone but will need the help of the whole community.

At this point he stressed the importance of the school councils, which are provided in the reforms to allow representatives from various sectors of society and the community to come together to decide on a better management for each school.

He pointed out that the council together with parents will have to play their part to ensure there is discipline in the schools and, more importantly, at home where - he said we should not forget - a child's education starts.

Mr Michel called for the districts and the community to come together and get more involved in educating parents and families on how to create the right environment to foster discipline and good education in the home.

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