Education Minister, Doctor Gale Rigobert, has asserted that curriculum review is necessary at this point.
In a message to mark the commencement of the new school term on Monday, Rigobert disclosed that over this past summer, she spent a lot of time reflecting on what more can be done to ensure that Saint Lucian students can boast of having received a globally competitive education upon their graduation.
“We recognize that curriculum review is necessary at this point, as we acknowledge various paradigmatic shifts in the business sector – in technology and in consumer patterns and that our students ought to be given the best chance of securing a job or venturing into a business opportunity as entrepreneurs,” the minister observed.
She explained that over the next couple of months, the ministry of education will embark on a comprehensive curriculum review exercise to determine what more can be offered.
” We need to review whether there are existing subject areas that need to be deemphasized and whether there are courses that are deemed now to be critical and necessary. These would need to be highlighted and in keeping with the notion that we are a service oriented economy largely dependent on tourism and hospitality, it makes sense to consider having our students do at least one foreign language which would be compulsory,” Rigobert noted.
“We have had some pilot programs in that regard with French being offered for example at certain primary schools, but the time has come, I think, for us to consider making it mandatory.”
The minister also observed that there has been a lot of conversation about corporal punishment in schools and whether its suspension or abolition should be considered.
“We are minded that notwithstanding that, there has been extensive training and sensitization for educators in the areas of safe schools and child friendly schools as well as positive behaviour modification. I am a strong advocate of positive approaches to behaviour modification and not punitive approaches and I am guided by my team as to how to implement a suspension of corporal punishment in the first instance, with a view to complete abolition in the long term,” she stated.