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Signature schools legislation tabled in House of Assembly

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Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Legislation to create signature schools and axe middle schools was tabled yesterday in the House of Assembly.

MPs were told the new-style schools will have “signature learning programmes” added to the normal curriculum.

Diallo Rabain, the education minister, outlined the plan to launch the first two signature schools in September next year, equipped with career-focused “signatures“ based on tourism, finance, insurance and trades.

Mr Rabain was speaking as he tabled the Education Amendment Act, which will also remove the middle school system by “moving M3 level to S1, through a simple change in the age ranges for middle and senior school”.

The end of middle schools is also scheduled for September next year.

Both changes were Progressive Labour Party pledges from the 2017 General Election.

Mr Rabain earlier said the plan was the replacement of middle schools with schools for secondary school-aged pupils with an emphasis on specialised academic and technical education.

He told the House yesterday: “Although we have already determined four signatures, we will engage and consult our community in modern, progressive and meaningful ways before decisions are made on additional signatures.”

Each of the new schools will have “one or more signatures” added to their senior school curriculum under the proposed changes.

Mr Rabain said the signature schools were not just career focused, but would also equip pupils with skills in “creativity, communications, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking, digital fluency, and social emotional learning”.

⋅To read the Education Amendment Bill 2021 or the minister’s statement, click on the PDFs under “Related Media”.

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Published March 06, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 05, 2021 at 6:00 pm)

Signature schools legislation tabled in House of Assembly

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