EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.
By FARRAH JOHNSON
EDUCATION Minister Jeffrey Lloyd yesterday announced his ministry has revised curriculum guides for primary and high schools to ensure students are equipped with the practical skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.
Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, Mr Lloyd revealed the ministry is "launching curricula" for physical education at primary school level and mathematics, economics and commerce at junior and senior high school levels.
He also said the ministry expects the curriculum revisions for language arts and social studies at the primary school level to be completed "within the second quarter of this year".
"The 21st century education is far different than at any time in human history," Mr Lloyd said.
"Today we realise that there is a profound need for curricula to rethink the significance and applicability of what is taught simultaneously to strike a better balance between the conceptual and the practical.
"Skills, we know now, are critical and vital as an outcome because…more and more employers (and) indeed the world itself, is demanding the immediate and effective application of useful skills.
"In order for us in the Ministry of Education to ensure continual improvements in our instructional output, we are consistently assessing educational outcomes with a view to adjusting our curriculum to enhance the overall academic success at our 172 public institutions."
Mr Lloyd also said the ministry has added nine new curriculum officers along with four subject secretaries to the team at the ministry. "These curriculum officers will be to oversee the instructional content in our classrooms while our subject secretaries will be responsible for managing the assessment process which includes testing and evaluation," he explained. "In both the modern languages department and the visual arts department, (the) curriculum officer post has been vacant now for two years. In our career and technical education department, we have been without a curriculum officer for four years. So, we are pleased that we are now able to fill these posts and provide the additional support for our teachers particularly our (vocational-technical) education and training educators, because this area is pivotal to us closing the skills gap in our workforce."
Mr Lloyd said the ministry wanted to ensure that students in the country are equipped with the 'Four Cs': creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
He insisted the work of curriculum revision is "consistently ongoing".
"All of our curriculum documents will undergo a continual three-year revision cycle," he said.
Yesterday, education director Marcellus Taylor acknowledged the importance of preparing students to function in a global world.
"We have a goal in the Ministry of Education and it is reflected in a statement that talks about graduation rates," he said. "It talks about us graduating 85 percent of our students by the year 2030, but the real intent of that goal is to produce students who are fit for 21st century living."
Mr Taylor said the revised curriculum will be introduced to schools in September. He also said the public can expect a revision every five years that can accommodate the needs of students in an ever-evolving world.