Education Minister on Barbados factfinding mission

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EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd is conducting a “fact-finding mission” in Barbados on early childhood education, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said during yesterday’s press briefing.

Pre-school education is a major focus for the Minnis administration. In August, Mr Lloyd established a connection between the national “D” BGCSE average and the lack of emphasis on pre-school education. According to Mr Lloyd, more than half of the country’s pre-schoolers are not enrolled in school before grade one, with only 550 pre-schoolers currently registered in the public system.

“In keeping with the government’s mandate to expand pre-school education in The Bahamas, (Mr Lloyd) is conducting a fact-finding mission on early childhood education in Barbados,” from December 5-6, Mr Newbold said.

“These preliminary meetings will allow the minister to engage the Barbadian minister of education and his team in discussions relative to early childhood education.

“We have some quite capable people in The Bahamas associated and focused on early childhood education, but Barbados has gotten a reputation for being pretty good in the field of pre-school education. So, the minister is conducting that fact-finding tour.”

In August, while speaking at the Teachers’ Enrichment Day at the Jack Hayward High School in Grand Bahama, Mr Lloyd referred to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank on education. According to Mr Lloyd, the report found that the Latin American and Caribbean region invests far less on pre-school education about $500 per child, by comparison to $3,500 per child in primary school education.

“We are failing our society,” said Mr Lloyd at the time. He added that this year, “great emphasis” will be placed on two-and-a-half and three-year-olds.

Reporting that less than half of the nation’s pre-schoolers are in an appropriate programme, the minister said: “We are setting up ourselves for catastrophic failure if we do not address that.”

At this event, Mr Lloyd also said that when resources permit the Ministry of Education is going to mandate that all two-and-a half and three-year-olds must be in a ministry approved school.

In November, Mr Lloyd reiterated this stance while attending the 39th annual UNESCO conference in Paris, France. He said: “(The Bahamas is) shifting (its) policies from focusing exclusively on universal primary and secondary education to one that promotes lifelong learning, especially with a particular emphasis on early childhood and pre-school education.”

Accordingly, on Monday Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis launched his administration’s eLearning Project at the Willard Patton Pre-School. Dr Minnis said: “This pilot eLearning Project was designed to involve ten public pre-schools, five of which are in New Providence and five in the Family Islands.

“The project is part of on-going efforts for education reform, including through the use of technology and experience-based education,” Dr Minnis said.

During yesterday’s press briefing, Mr Newbold also said that as chair of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Inter-American Committee on Education (CIE), Mr Lloyd will also be attending the 20th Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour while in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The conference will be held on December 7-8.

Mr Newbold said the conference is “being staged to forge greater collaboration between education and labour in the OAS member states which includes Latin America, the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.”

He added: “While in attendance a the conference, (Mr Lloyd) has been asked to make a presentation on the topic, ‘Towards better inter-sectoral coordination between education, training, and labour, crucial to unleashing youth potential and addressing the future of work.’”

Acting Director of Education Marcellus Taylor will be accompanying Mr Lloyd on these matters as his technical advisor. Senator Dion Foulkes, minister of labour, will also attend the conference.

Comments

DDK says...

We doing plenty travelling! Somebody should tell these folks there is a wealth of facts to be harvested on the internet. Can they not internet conference? Is there a Ritz in Bridgetown? They need to stop wasting The People's money and being self-important and sit still and fix our Country.

Posted 6 December 2017, 3:12 p.m. Suggest removal

DDK says...

I am sure there are plenty of books available on Early Childhood Education. This Government is not serious about doing The People's bidding. They need to stop this pretentious globe-trotting and feeding The People a crock of bs about not having funds for this and not having funds for that..

Posted 6 December 2017, 3:18 p.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

We can get enough expertise right in this country to build a better educational system ....... but Lloyd needs to free himself from his old-school Catholic education mentality, and his warhorse approach and begin by doing a shake up of his deadbeat "senior technical advisors" .......... He is trying to put new wine in old wineskins.

The followers go as far as the leader takes them.

Posted 6 December 2017, 4:09 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrade Minister Jeff, why not stay home and begin a conversation we have never had. What are the pro's and con's of Independence for the Bahamaland? Were the British pushing Independence on us? Should we stop calling ourselves a nation? What if we allowed Out Islands to operate different economies in competition with the capital of Nassau? Has Independence worked for Abaco, Exuma, Long Island, Grand Bahama, Andros, Eleuthera?

Posted 6 December 2017, 6:59 p.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

Lloyd is almost 70 years old ......... he is a Minister with a finite term ......... He should move to implement tangible structural changes to the public and private schools system to bring equity and accountability for ALL Bahamian students .......... but he will find a token project to hang his hat on (preschools) ....... like Fitzgerald (high school diploma) .......... while the status quo system continues to implode and rot from the inside out.

Posted 6 December 2017, 7:35 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrade Minister is managing schools that haven't much changed since Jeff's first-grade class. Why are we building new schools which are more for future generations students than today's. Will the evolving ways of educating students in 15 years even require a structure for them to attend five days week? Schools built in 2018/19 will become museums by the year 2032, By the year 2048, we will be operating on ourselves simply by walking into a Robot staffed clinic and feeding coins into the Robot vending type machines.

Posted 6 December 2017, 7:46 p.m. Suggest removal

ohdrap4 says...

i remember the fact finding mission to finland.

just some bullshysters getting a free trip.

when they git there they found out only the top performers in school would get jobs, and had to sit exams, to earn 100,000 a year.

no one ever hears about finland anymore, what would they do with the incompetent and medically insane in the MOE?

Posted 6 December 2017, 7:52 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Comrade Ohdraph4, one the PLP cabinet ministers were dispatched off the island by PM Christie to attend what was publicly billed as very important conference....only by the time they arrived at the stated time the conference had been over for like 24 hours - before they departed Lynden Pindling airport....not sure might been either Brave or Obadiah? {I am not making this one up}.Talk had it that the PM wanted them absent from the island.

Posted 6 December 2017, 7:59 p.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

The insane and the incompetent work at the MOE headquarters Third Floor.

Posted 7 December 2017, 12:57 a.m. Suggest removal

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