Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn announced that the professional development strides in the education sector continues. In fact, Hon. Walwyn mentioned that the Ministry anticipates that in the first quarter of 2016 the Territory will have the first cohort of licensed principals in the education system.
Hon. Walwyn announced that presently there are 33 principals and senior teachers engaged in the education leadership programme that is being conducted by the National College of Education Leadership (NCEL) of Jamaica.
The Minister said: “We are seeking to further enhance our educators and education administrators all across the Virgin Islands. We see them as the architects of our society. It is in their classrooms that our students develop ideas and sense of excellence.”
Hon. Walwyn announced that the Ministry will continue to invest in the development of schoolteachers and leaders to ensure that students meet a positive and productive environment in every classroom and every school in the Territory.
At present the Ministry of Education is having discussions with the National College of Education Leadership of Jamaica regarding the development of a licensure programme for teachers that can be done incrementally. “Our vision is that each teacher in the Virgin Islands will be properly trained and fully licensed to deliver a superior education to our students,” Minister Walwyn said.
In June 2014, Minister Walwyn indicated that the Ministry of Education was in discussion with the National College of Education Leadership in Jamaica to finalize plans for a two-week training session for principals in Jamaica.
At that time Hon. Walwyn explained that the training will become a policy of the Ministry of Education. In fact, he stated that the Ministry would not recommend persons for the role of principal unless they go through this Government sponsored programme.
This training, the Minister noted, is part of the Ministry’s continued efforts to improve the education system, and is part of the numerous initiatives planned for the 2014-2015 school year.
According to Hon. Walwyn the training is also a followup on the promise to examine the aspect of licensure for principals and teachers.
“This year we intend to begin with our Principals. If we are to ensure that the best quality teachers and principals are in our schools we must have some measures in place. A major part of this licensing regime will be continuous professional development,” he told the House.