Categorized | Editorial

The Education Plan may not reach desired achievements

Editorial – May 6, 2011

During the final week of April via a post from the Government Information Unit The Montserrat Reporter learnt that the Ministry of Education was inviting the public to a public (final, we believe) consultation to provide feedback on the contents of the draft Education Development Plan (EDP 2012-2020). This discussion took place on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.”

The plan is said to be available online at www.gov.ms<http://www.gov.ms/, but you soon find that you must figure it out to get to it eventually after you get to http://www.gov.ms/ and navigate your way to the web pages to find it. We did get a printed copy of the plan that was sent to another organisation. The fact however, is that TMR has had to seek out to get information on this occasion and with our extremely limited resources would normally have difficulty following up to report on the matter especially when not directly consulted.

The Montserrat Reporter never made it to that consultation as it conflicted with other major activities on the island scheduled for same day and hour.

Looking through this plan and as advertised the Ministry the Plan sets out the strategic vision for where the education service will be by 2020, informing that currently the education system provides services to approximately 1,000 students from Early Years to Montserrat Secondary School and Montserrat Community College.

The information provided in the public invitation said, “The EDP has been developed from a detailed analysis of available data.” This was shared with stakeholders whose input was gathered during the planning process in an effort to generate national ownership and support for the plan. Over 200 stakeholders from parents and teachers to students and members of the general public were involved in the planning process.

“The overarching aim of the Education Development Plan represents the clear consensus from internal and external stakeholders to raise standards in our schools and early years’ centres.”

It must have been challenging during the early volcanic crisis years, as indeed many parents were forced to send children overseas for schooling, as well as whole scale migration to the UK, causing problems from which the island has not yet recovered for many families.

So in the plan, “it recognises the hard work of all those who have contributed to providing education in Montserrat and maintaining the education service during the volcanic crisis.”

“The emphasis will now move to raising standards in all educational institutions and ensuring that there are measureable improvements in the progress that students make at each level of education. This will be represented by continuous annual improvements in students’ attainment,” the EDP anticipates.

We do not know yet, the outcome of that final consultation, but will say for now that with all the data, debate and discussion that we have been privy to. there seemed to be a warped vision or a myopic understanding of what is really required to reverse or even temper the problems that have evolved over the years, not just from the onset of the volcanic crisis, but which had been brewing for years prior.

One thing that seemed to occupy the thinking of those who either privately or publicly discussed the plan, was the idea of how to deal with ‘non-nationals’ entering the schooling system. That matter does pose special problems, that may well be different from neighbouring islands because of our special circumstances. But, the question from us, is that a major factor in where the standard, quality and attainment of the students is, that is supposed to be overarching aim of the plan? And, is the aim sought providing the necessary achievements?

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – May 6, 2011

During the final week of April via a post from the Government Information Unit The Montserrat Reporter learnt that the Ministry of Education was inviting the public to a public (final, we believe) consultation to provide feedback on the contents of the draft Education Development Plan (EDP 2012-2020). This discussion took place on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.”

The plan is said to be available online at www.gov.ms<http://www.gov.ms/, but you soon find that you must figure it out to get to it eventually after you get to http://www.gov.ms/ and navigate your way to the web pages to find it. We did get a printed copy of the plan that was sent to another organisation. The fact however, is that TMR has had to seek out to get information on this occasion and with our extremely limited resources would normally have difficulty following up to report on the matter especially when not directly consulted.

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The Montserrat Reporter never made it to that consultation as it conflicted with other major activities on the island scheduled for same day and hour.

Looking through this plan and as advertised the Ministry the Plan sets out the strategic vision for where the education service will be by 2020, informing that currently the education system provides services to approximately 1,000 students from Early Years to Montserrat Secondary School and Montserrat Community College.

The information provided in the public invitation said, “The EDP has been developed from a detailed analysis of available data.” This was shared with stakeholders whose input was gathered during the planning process in an effort to generate national ownership and support for the plan. Over 200 stakeholders from parents and teachers to students and members of the general public were involved in the planning process.

“The overarching aim of the Education Development Plan represents the clear consensus from internal and external stakeholders to raise standards in our schools and early years’ centres.”

It must have been challenging during the early volcanic crisis years, as indeed many parents were forced to send children overseas for schooling, as well as whole scale migration to the UK, causing problems from which the island has not yet recovered for many families.

So in the plan, “it recognises the hard work of all those who have contributed to providing education in Montserrat and maintaining the education service during the volcanic crisis.”

“The emphasis will now move to raising standards in all educational institutions and ensuring that there are measureable improvements in the progress that students make at each level of education. This will be represented by continuous annual improvements in students’ attainment,” the EDP anticipates.

We do not know yet, the outcome of that final consultation, but will say for now that with all the data, debate and discussion that we have been privy to. there seemed to be a warped vision or a myopic understanding of what is really required to reverse or even temper the problems that have evolved over the years, not just from the onset of the volcanic crisis, but which had been brewing for years prior.

One thing that seemed to occupy the thinking of those who either privately or publicly discussed the plan, was the idea of how to deal with ‘non-nationals’ entering the schooling system. That matter does pose special problems, that may well be different from neighbouring islands because of our special circumstances. But, the question from us, is that a major factor in where the standard, quality and attainment of the students is, that is supposed to be overarching aim of the plan? And, is the aim sought providing the necessary achievements?