The Unity Labour Party Manifesto 2015
Table of Contents
The ULP government has undoubtedly transformed the delivery of education in terms of access, spread, and quality through an ongoing Education Revolution for Living and Production. In the process it has altered immeasurably, for the better, the lives of children, young persons, adults, entire families, and the nation as a whole. Never in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has any government emphasised the education of its people as the ULP has done since 2001. The achievements made thus far have been hailed by educationalists at home and abroad.
The Education Revolution has thus been a spectacular success but, as always, more still needs to be done.
Every area of education has been stamped as remarkable successes: Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary, Post-Secondary, Tertiary, Teacher Education, Nursing Education, Technical and Vocational Education, Adult Literacy, Continuing Education, and Special Education. The management of the educational system and of the schools or educational institutions has been lifted. The teachers, their trade union, and parents are more meaningfully engaged than ever. The terms and conditions of teachers’ employment have improved markedly, even amidst the salary restraint which the teachers have accommodated in the last four years, for which the government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are appreciative.
The recurrent expenditure on education has almost tripled since 2001 and capital expenditure for the full-throttle expansionary years in education (2004 – 2014) more than quadrupled comparable capital expenditure for the ten years, 1991 – 2001, under the previous NDP regime. On an on-going basis, recurrent expenditure on education has been in excess of 20 percent of overall recurrent expenditure in the entire budget, a number that puts St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the top rank of countries globally.
Under the Education Revolution no child has been left behind; no teacher has been left behind; and no parent is to be left behind. Challenges do exist but they have been, and are being, addressed efficaciously. Already, the nation and families throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines are realising the huge benefits of the Education Revolution. Still, the full benefits are ahead to be realised fully.
During our fourth term, the ULP government will further direct the Educational Revolution to achieve three central objectives, namely: (i) Establishing even more assuredly a well-managed, effective and efficient education system that focuses on quality, relevance, living and production; (ii) promoting further standards of excellence and professionalism in the delivery of educational programmes and services; and (iii) promoting further community involvement and opportunities for continuing education throughout adulthood. Under each of these central objectives, a number of Strategic Interventions will be pursued to achieve specific outcomes.
Under the first-named Objective of management, quality and relevance of education, there are at least fifteen (15) Strategic Interventions to be pursued:
✔ Improve the organisational culture for management and delivery of quality education;
✔ Ensure the implementation of a curriculum that caters to the changing needs of society;
✔ Encourage greater participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), plus on-going work in the Arts (STEAM);
✔ Provide improved and accessible, modernised public libraries, archives, and learning resource centres;
✔ Improve further the delivery of quality education through the use of ICT;
✔ Enhance early childhood educational programmes, and push for 100 percent access to early childhood centres for 3 – 5 year olds;
✔ Improve further standards of achievement in primary education, including an enhancement of teacher leadership and quality teaching;
✔ Upgrade further secondary education in every aspect for even better delivery and results;
✔ Diversify the modalities by which post-secondary education is delivered, and access to life-long education is facilitated;
✔ Promote partnership in the management of schools between all the relevant stakeholders (government, parents, teachers, civil society, religious denominations and the private sector);
✔ Improve further the student-teacher ratio in particular schools where this is necessary and desirable;
✔ Upgrade further, and maintain on an ongoing basis, the school infrastructure;
✔ Increase further access to post-secondary and tertiary education, with an emphasis on young males who are currently unrepresented at the levels of education, and particularly in STEM subjects.
Under the second-named Objective, regarding educational standards, the following seven Strategic Interventions will be pursued over the next five years:
✔ Establish enhanced and on-going professional development programmes;
✔ Improve further the many-sided learning environment;
✔ Providing further incentives for quality teachers particularly in the Sciences, Technology, Maths, English, History, Foreign Languages;
✔ Strengthen further the capacity of the SVG Community College and the partnerships between it and other tertiary institutions to deliver programmes and to produce ever more highly-trained and certified teachers in all disciplines.
✔ Strengthen further the system of accreditation for skilled professionals and post-secondary and tertiary graduates;
✔ Enhance further an effective mentoring system.
Under the third-named Objective of continuing education, the following five Strategic Interventions will be pursued by the ULP government over the next five years:
✔ Foster further a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to provide opportunities for life-long learning;
✔ Implement focused policies to ensure the inclusion of marginalised groups in the educational system;
✔ Enhance the functioning of all Learning Resource Centres to meet the educational requisites of the communities in which they are located;
✔ Encourage ever more the involvement of parents in the educational development of their children;
✔ Encourage community mentorship programmes.
SOME STERLING PROMISES IN EDUCATION – AT A GLANCE