Basseterre: St. Kitts, Monday, August 29, 2022: Members of the teaching fraternity in St. Kitts assembled at the Rivers of Living Water Christian Centre for the annual opening ceremony of the Summer Workshops for Teachers held Monday August 29th.
Newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Hon. Dr. Geoffrey Hanley pledged a new deal for teachers under his administration noting that there is a direct correlation between education innovation and national development.
“I declare to you this morning, teachers will get a new deal under my leadership,” stated Minister Hanley in response to an earlier plea by featured speaker Ms. Micheleina Charles-Hazelle.
“Colleagues, education is the core of every great society and the vehicle by which citizens are able to elevate themselves. The quality of Education available to our citizens is vital and directly linked to the development of this great Federation. This means that you, our educators are and forever will be the main driving forces behind national development.”
Elucidating the plan for continued development within the education sector, Dr. Hanley outlined a list of priorities that are inclusive and equitable for both teachers and students.
Focusing on the teachers, Dr. Hanley stated “teachers you too will be provided with the necessary tools to do your work. Teachers will also have greater opportunities to be trained in specialist fields. No written work preparation! The electronic version will be here. For this new academic year our work hours for teachers within the public primary and secondary schools will revert to 8:25am to 3:30 pm. Our schools must be institutions where both teachers and students are nurtured both mentally and emotionally; places where we continue to work and build stronger bonds of mutual respect and understanding”.
Dr. Hanley pledged his steadfast support for the continued professionalization of the teaching fraternity while noting the need for changes within the education sector.
“Our journey toward professionalizing the teaching force will continue so that our educators can finally receive the recognition within the professional community that they deserve. Also, I envision a revamping of our professional development model to incorporate a system by which training throughout the year is recognized,” he said. “We can no longer steam roll change into existence for as we know; lasting change takes time and acceptance by those who benefit the
most. Colleagues, I pledge my unwavering support and dedication to you and assure you that I will be a champion for this great fraternity [teaching]”.