Press Release:– On Monday February 1, 2021 Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert, Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, met with the newly elected executive of the National Students’ Council.
This executive which was elected through a democratic process in December of 2020, comprises; Sherwin Alexander, President (Sir Arthur Lewis Community College), Alens Plante, Vice President – Districts 1-4, (St Mary’s College), Dion Jn. Baptiste, Vice President – Districts 5-8 (Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School A Level), Tamika Regis, General Secretary (Sir Arthur Lewis Community College), Shervez Suffren, Assistant General Secretary (St Mary’s College), Jean-Luc Constantine, Public Relations Officer (St Mary’s College) and Sherqwayne Prudent, Treasurer (St Mary’s College).
Also present at Monday’s virtual meeting was the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education Michelle Charles and head of the Corporate Unit, Dr. Claudia Louis.
The meeting sought to update the Students’ Council executive members on the activities taking place within the education sector and in particular to address any concerns that the students may have, especially in light of COVID-19.
The Minister for Education, Dr. Gale Rigobert has described that meeting as “very fruitful, candid, respectful and transparent.”
She applauded the executive members of the National Students Council for the way in which they have dispatched their duties as representatives of various student bodies on island.
“Among the issues that were raised with myself as minister and my team, were access to devices and connectivity, transportation for students who on occasion have to take three or four buses to get to and from school and very importantly the mental stability and wellness of students, especially as they contend with the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Rigobert said following the meeting.
“One of the outcomes of that meeting was agreement on the need to standardize the learning platform. The students were advised that the Ministry had recently renewed its licensing agreements and arrangements for Google Suite and that that platform would be leveraged at all schools on island as the preferred platform for teaching and learning,” the Minister explained.
“Similarly there are studios set up at particular district offices across the island in the form of what we call smart spaces that allow for recording of classes and I have asked the executive to encourage peers and or teachers to utilize that space to share some of their techniques on the respective areas of competence,” Dr. Rigobert went on to say.
The students also recognized the extent to which ICT centers, rebranded as Innovation and Career Development Centers, are proving to be very useful to students and even within the context of the various COVID-19 protocols, that students have been able to leverage use of these centers.
Again the minister wishes to applaud the students for their sterling leadership and she was left feeling very satisfied that indeed the future is bright given the character, the poise and the decorum of those who were in attendance.
Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert has promised to reconvene on the 1st of March 2021 so as to apprise the executive of the National Students Council of any new developments.
Subsequent to the meeting, the Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations presented nine laptops to the executive of the National Students Council.
In receiving the devices, the president, Sherwin Alexander, stated that the devices would go a long way in assisting the Council in meeting the needs of its membership.