Former parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education Harry Husbands said that his Government’s focus on early childhood education has been so successful that it has drawn the attention of other Caribbean islands.
“I had the pleasure of taking the minister of Education from the Bahamas on a tour of some of our new schools in order for him to see them,” Husbands said.
“The story of the success of Barbados in this early childhood programme has gone wide around the Caribbean and has been spread internationally. Ministers of education have been coming to see the innovation and creativity that the Ministry of Education under this Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government has brought to Barbados.”
The DLP candidate for St James North was speaking at a meeting in Orange Hill, St James Friday night where he endorsed the candidacy of Irene Sandiford Garner. He said the resources spent on early childhood must be seen as an investment
“We embarked on a strategy of building more early childhood institutions with the help of the Maria Holder Trust. Studies show that the earlier you interact with the children the better they are likely to be… better in their homes, better discipline, better in their homes, better citizens. The benefits will not be recognised tomorrow or next week but it is an investment in the future of the country.”
He refuted claims that the ministry only focussed on the high flyers and not the students with specialised needs.
“I was present at the first graduation of over 60 teachers who have been trained specially to deal with autism spectrum disorder. They were trained by a Canadian university. This September we are planning to implement more training to address other developmental disorder,” he said.
The former president of BUT added that 1000 teachers had been appointed in two years, 700 in primary school and another 300 at the secondary school level.
He said he was proud to report that the DLP had doubled the number of sixth form schools in Barbados. He also said that the introduction of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) programme allows students to leave school with the regionally recognised certificate even if they failed to gain a Caribbean Examination Council.
He declared that all of this shows why Barbados was ranked the 9th highest educational system in the world. (IMC)