The Government of Saint Lucia has promised to deliver an inclusive and equitable quality education. This was articulated by Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, during her Throne Speech on April 25.
The Government of Saint Lucia, according to the Governor General, views education as an investment in its human capital. In this regard, she said government intends to embark on several initiatives geared at educating its citizens.
One such initiative will see greater emphasis placed on Early Childhood Education. Another initiative is an Education for Democratic Citizenship Program that focuses on developing soft skills and national pride. The program will be introduced into the curricula of primary and secondary schools at the start of the 2017 academic year. A third is the establishment of a First Generation Initiative that will provide pathways for at least one child from a low income household to access tertiary level education.
“Government also intends to expand educational opportunities by placing greater emphasis on e-learning,” said Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette. “We will ensure that ICT centres and facilities are accessible to all communities for education, innovation and entrepreneurship. We further propose to introduce technology integration and innovation into the curriculum to prepare our students for the technology-driven world.
“Through the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC), a number of our citizens have already acquired skills that enhance their employability and entrepreneurship. Government applauds the efforts of the NSDC and will continue to promote its programs with the support of the private sector. In addition, Technical Vocational Education and Training will be enhanced through the award of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) to artisans, tradesmen and technicians, to boost their competitiveness in the local and regional job market.”
The enactment of the Accreditation Bill and the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and other Health Professions Bill is yet another initiative by government to improve the quality of education.
“Saint Lucia continues to attract medical and off-shore educational institutions. Government therefore, has a duty to ensure that the programs offered by these institutions meet quality standards and are internationally recognized,” Dame Pearlette continued. “The Accreditation Bill provides for the process and mechanism of accrediting a program of study offered by a tertiary institution and the award it confers.”
The Accreditation Bill will also enable the establishment of a National Accreditation Council.