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St Helena : Education Department Plans for Next Three Years
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 24.01.2010 (Article Archived on 07.02.2010)

The Education Department is making plans to further improve the standard of education on the Island.

Education Department Plans for Next Three Years

The Education Department is making plans to further improve the standard of education on the Island.

Lilla Oliver, Chief Education Officer, explained that in addition to the day to day provision of an education service, the department is planning for the future. This is to be supported by the visit of three Education Advisors who arrived on 19th  January.

David Levesque is the new Education Advisor from the Department for International Development (DFID) and he is overseeing the new education sector support programme which DFID is funding.  DFID recently injected new monies into the Education Department, part of which is being used to get educational development support from the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) at the University of Wolverhampton. The relationship with CIDT started in 2003 and is continuing under a new three-year contract.

Patt Flett is the Programme Manager from CIDT, having replaced Lilla Oliver who managed the CIDT programme before taking on the role of Chief Education Officer.

The third member of the team is John Sullivan, Secondary Trainer/Advisor who specialises in secondary education.

In speaking about the visit, Lilla said “we in the Education Department are looking forward to working with our team of advisors, because it will provide us with the opportunity to discuss our strategic direction with the Education Team and then gain  professional advice from them  on the proposed way forward. Educational practices are constantly changing and the visit will allow for feedback on how we can improve the quality of the service that we provide. At the same time, it gives us the opportunity to finalise our plans for the next three years with much valued input from the team. It’s going to be a busy period but we look forward to the positive outcomes that will be derived from  this visit.”

While the team is on Island, they will meet senior managers within the Education Department and with the newly formed Education and Employment Committee.  In addition, various members of the team are scheduled to visit the Adult Vocational Education Centre, Primary Schools, the Teacher Training Centre, the Public Library and Prince Andrew School where they will also attend a parents evening.

The visit will also provide opportunity for the team to meet with teachers, students and parents to get their views on the strengths, challenges, progress, concerns and priorities in relation to the education service.

The visit will focus on a number of other areas including a review of progress at Prince Andrew School. This follows a series of changes that were made in September 2009 in order to further improve the quality of teaching and learning so that standards of education could be raised even higher.

In particular, there will be discussion on making further use of distance learning. Through the internet, courses are currently being delivered in electronics and sociology  and the intention is to offer more subjects so that students can have access to a wider curriculum. Consideration will also be given to how distance learning can aid the continuous professional development of teachers.

Scholarship provision  will also be reviewed with David Levesque  and discussion will concentrate on ways which will  allow more students to obtain tertiary qualifications.

In the primary sector, discussion will focus on the progress that is being made following a restructure in 2007 which was introduced in response to the drastic decrease in the number of pupils entering the education system.

On lifelong learning, there will be discussion with David Levesque on plans to further develop the provision of an adult vocational education service to ensure that continuous skills development is achieved.

Following the visit, the three-year action plan will be finalised, setting out what the department will do from now until 2013 in order to continue improving the standard of education on the Island. This will support the department’s strategic plan and the overall vision for St Helena. 

Public Relations/Information Office

Office of the Chief Secretary

20 January 2010


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