In an effort to get a more accurate representation of overall student-performance territory-wide, the Ministry of Education intends to create closer ties with privately-owned and operated schools in the British Virgin Islands.
Governor Augustus Jaspert said the BVI Education Act will be amended to do so.
“Our government believes that it is important to forge a closer monitoring relationship with the private schools. One example is data collection from private schools to better analyse and report on the status of education in the territory as a whole,” the governor said while delivering the Speech from the Throne last week.
The local education ministry has been known to omit data from private schools when they (the ministry) are reporting on the performance of local students; especially for the regional Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams.
A number of residents, over the years, have therefore made calls for the territory’s legislators to be fairer, and include private school passes in the yearly education report.
Just last year, controversy erupted after the student who was named as the ‘BVI’s top CXC student’ was not the actual best-performing student. That was because the ministry selected its top student from the public school sector rather than from both public and private schools, collectively.
But, such partiality is expected to end with the upcoming amendment to the Education Act.
Governor Jaspert said the amendment will “bring this legislation in line with the technological learning preferences and expectations of students in this and future era.”
The SMART schools initiative
In the meantime, Jaspert said the Dr D Orlando Smith-led administration remains “committed to the educational development and will continue its SMART school initiative.”
SMART – sustained mitigation, adaptation and resilient techniques – is an arrangement between the Ministry of Education, the Department of Disaster Management, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and the United Nations Children’s Fund, to ensure that schools are safe, healthy, and green.
Jaspert said: “Our Government is mindful that in today’s technological age, the education system is evolving and the territory’s schools must keep pace with the rest of the world.”
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