Education transformation pushed back to 2026

The much touted education transformation has been pushed back by a year.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the disclosure as she dealt with the education aspect of her Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.

“[The] Ministry of Education is now deep into the national educational transformation agenda. I’m satisfied that we have to continue the conversation with the country and as a result, the earliest that any major transitions can occur is September 2026, as opposed to 2025,” she stated.

Mottley told the House of Assembly that 80 per cent of what was being done in the ministry was non-controversial and therefore teacher training and retooling, new administrative arrangement for the teaching profession, curriculum reform, the fixing of schools and the enhancement of plant would “continue apace while we deal with the other critical issue of how we treat the transfer between primary and secondary school”.

From September 1, 2024, there will be 22 master teachers assigned across secondary schools to support teacher effectiveness and improve instructional quality.

Those looking out for the gifted and those with special needs will benefit from a tax ease. Mottley said that from April 1 there will be a 75 per cent tax credit for the provision of educational and life skills facilities for persons with special needs, and those making similar provisions for gifted children will get a 50 per cent tax credit.

The Prime Minister said Government would continue to augment support for special needs education, using an inclusive education approach. Meanwhile, there will be increased financing and screening of 1 000 children per year, expert intervention, capacity building through teacher training, assistive technologies, individual education plans (IEPs) and increased bursaries for special needs learners who cannot be accommodated within the mainstream school system.

A Teaching Service Commission, first mentioned in 2019, will be established this fiscal year and supported by a secretariat and will take charge of matters related to improving efficiency and effectiveness in recruitment and appointment; disciplinary matters; training and professional development; awards and recognition; licensing; coaching and internship. (AC)

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