Summer starts early for public school students
Public schools will close days earlier than previously scheduled as the Government works to move forward with education reform.
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, told the House of Assembly this morning that the school year will end on Friday, June 24, rather than the previously announced Wednesday, June 29.
He said: “This was not an easy decision to make and required the department's senior leadership team and the Ministry of Education to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages in terms of children’s learning, the inconvenience to parents and families and the longer term vision we have for learning.
“The continued transformation of our school system is a complex and challenging undertaking that requires the engagement of each and every educator across our school system.
“These extra two and a half days at the end of the term will allow our schools to work with undivided attention, ensuring that we are even more prepared for the next design and implementation phases.”
Mr Rabain added that the Department of Youth and Sport would start their summer camps a week early on June 27, with online registration to begin on May 25.
He told the House that students entering the Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy in September would be offered the signature curriculum with “a model of teaching and learning which incorporates authentic, real-world learning experiences and meaningful projects, attentive to the differing needs of each and every child”, in addition to their core curriculum.
Mr Rabain said the Department of Education had worked with businesses to develop “externships” to offer students real-world experience and professional learning opportunities for teachers.
He explained: “This kind of engagement enhances not only teachers’ professional development, but their ability to teach students as they can bring real-world understandings that will motivate and excite students.
“This is the kind of reimagining of education that will improve our system.”
Mr Rabain added that the Government had embraced the idea of offering educational opportunities for students.
He said: “There is no department that does not have something to offer our students, and I am pleased to say that they are all motivated to provide learning opportunities for our students.
The minister said the Government still plans to launch new parish primary schools at the Francis Patton and Purvis sites in September 2023, along with a signature school focused on hospitality, tourism and education services at a site yet to be determined.
Meanwhile the Government would continue to expand signature curriculum offerings in the island’s senior schools for the 2023 school year.
Mr Rabain said: “Work will continue to be done to build the health and social care and financial and insurance services signature learning programmes for S2 and S3 at the Berkeley Institute and the science, technology, engineering and math and trades and professions S2 and S3 signature learning programmes at CedarBridge Academy.
“Additionally, we will expand the features of signature schooling into the core curriculum at both senior schools.”
He added: “Transforming an education system is no easy feat. It has required and will continue to require sacrifices from each and every one of us.
“I wish to thank our parents and families, the teachers and leaders across the system, and members of the community for their continued support and effort to improve the quality of education for our students.”
For more information on the schools changes, visit www.learningfirstbda.com.
* To read the minister’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.