The Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training has created a new Education Reform Unit, which will be headed by Dr Idamay Denny, who will assume the position of Director of Education Reform, effective April 26.
The Transformation of Barbados’ education system has been identified as one of the priorities of the current administration of government as articulated in its 2018 Manifesto. Central to the transformation that is needed to equip citizens for the future, will be the reformation of the national curriculum to make it relevant to the emerging technological and global trends, as well as the developmental and transformational needs of the country.
In order for the Ministry to undertake the desired transformation and innovations in education, the right strategy and expertise must be implemented to institute the reforms that are necessary to achieve the national objectives for the future development and prosperity of the country.
Pivotal to this initiative therefore, is the need for the creation of a new leadership position with the technical expertise required to lead the strategic transformation of the education system over the course of the next decade. The Education Reform Unit will hence form part of a new project-related structure that will facilitate the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the reform initiatives that will be aimed at transforming the education sector.
Dr Denny, who will assume the position of Director of Education Reform effective April 26, has served in the field of education for 46 years. She commenced her career as a teacher on January 15, 1974 at the All Saints’ Girls’ School in St. Peter. Over the next 16 years, she also served at Deacons Primary, Pine Primary and Ellerton Primary schools.
On October 1, 1990, Dr Denny was assigned to the Ministry of Education, where she served for the next 20 years in various roles, including Peripatetic Reading Specialist, Education Officer responsible for language arts, Senior Education Officer, and for the last 10 years of her tenure, as Deputy Chief Education Officer.
In December 2009, Dr Denny demitted office to join the Caribbean Development Bank, where she served for the next 10 years as Education Specialist and Portfolio Manager responsible for education, the post from which she retired in December 2019.
Dr Denny is the holder of a teachers’ certificate with distinction from Erdiston Teachers’ Training College from which she graduated in 1978 as Student of the Year. In 1985, she graduated from the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Literature and Linguistics with Education. She returned to UWI in 1991, graduating in 1992 with the Certificate in Educational Management and Administration, gaining a distinction and graduating as the most outstanding student.
During her stints at UWI, Dr. Denny was awarded an Organisation of American States Fellowship to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Howard in 1987 with the Master of Education degree in the teaching of reading, achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average. In support of her outstanding performance, she was awarded a graduate assistantship, presented with an award of academic excellence and was named in Who’s Who Among International Students in American Universities and Colleges.
In 2006, Dr Denny completed the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and in July 2008, she successfully defended her dissertation and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, both at Cambridge College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr Denny also subsequently completed a diploma in the Management of Change with Cornell University in 2013. During the period 1989 to 2000 Dr Denny served as a part-time lecturer with the Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus teaching the foundation language courses to first year students. She has also conducted significant training for teachers and principals in various areas of education over the course of her career.
Dr Denny has also served education locally as a member of a number of Boards. She sat on the Boards of Springer Memorial, The St. Michael, Christ Church Foundation and Lester Vaughn Secondary Schools. She is currently Deputy Chairman of the Barbados Community College. Her service to education at the policy level also extended regionally and internationally.
She represented Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean on the CENPES Committee on Education, and the Inter American Commission, both within the Organisation of American States. She was also a regional representative on the Commonwealth Working Group on Teacher Recruitment led by the Commonwealth Secretariat, served on both the Steering and Advisory Committees for the Establishment of a Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth, led by the Commonwealth of Learning and also represented Barbados on the Education Network and Regional Dialogue of the Inter-American Development Bank. During her extensive career and experience, Dr Denny also served extensively with CXC as Local Registrar, Chairman of the National Committee of CXC and as a member of the School Examinations Committee. She was also the founding President of the Barbados Association of Reading.
While at the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Denny represented the Bank on the Canada/CARICOM Education for Employment Steering Committee; CARICOM’s Council of Ministers for Human and Social Development (COHSOD); CARICOM’s Working Group on Early Childhood Development; and the Transformation Task Force of the University of Guyana.
Dr Denny, as the Director of the Education Reform Unit under the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, will lead the implementation of an extensive reform agenda which includes the development of programming and curricula which will enhance economic diversification, technological enhancement, including a framework for electronic education; enhancement of student outcomes; improvement of instructional quality; strengthening of school and system leadership; modernization of the regulatory framework for education, and a number of other critical issues.