Minister pins hopes on early education

| 05/09/2011

(CNS): The education minister has said that legislation will soon be introduced in order to standardize pre-school education. Rolston Anglin said that one of the most consistent issues raised by primary teachers has been that children begin their compulsory education unprepared and as a result government will be focusing on this area he said in an effort to improve local provision of early learning. Anlgin added that the lack of preparedness was “the single most recurring theme” uncovered during his annual school visits and part of the reason why reception had been reintroduced to primary schools.

“If we did a good job at the beginning, we wouldn’t have to spend so much time making corrections at the primary and secondary levels. Fourteen years go by in the blink of an eye. Children grow from 3-16 years very quickly. When we get it wrong, the life chances of our people are at stake,” he said at a recent meeting of the Early Childhood Care and Education Unit, adding that early childhood education features heavily in his Education Stabilization Plan.

“Early care is a primary focus of this government,” Anglin said. “But this approach is not the easy route. The results won’t be immediately obvious. It may be 10-20 years before we can see tangible results.”

Senior Policy Advisor Julie Madgwick from the ECCE Unit which has been together for just four months said that the five person team has been reviewing local, regional and international best practice; visiting local early childhood centres, preparing documentation and data for the 2011-12 school year and aligning their work with the ministry’s Education Stabilization Plan.

She said the unit would support early childhood centres by assisting with information for parents and administering the pre-school assistance fund. She also noted that help would be provided in the development and implementation of centre policies and procedures.

The unit will also act as a support centre and provide regular, targeted professional development opportunities including a six-week course for untrained practitioners beginning in September. Madgwick added that the team will also spearhead the implementation of a quality, unified curriculum and encourage collaboration between early childhood centres and primary schools to ensure that children transition smoothly when moving from one to the other.
To attract more Caymanians to early years teaching professions the unit would share research about training pathways with high school students and other training organisations. She also said the team will support existing Caymanian practitioners and promote the profession using marketing and public relations tools.

The ECCE is designed to be a support agency to work alongside early childhood care and education centres to help them improve the quality of service.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Children are starting school way too early. Why should they be prepared to start primary school – that is what school is for to teach them – if they come prepared then why do they need to be in school. You all need to stop blowing hot air and paying all these consultants big money to blow hot air and creating government department and positions to tell us all this s….t. go backt o the basics of the THREE R's "Reading, Writing and Arithmetic" and just add comptuers to this and they will be just fine. If you can do these four things then you can learn anything. Stop wasting money and time on NEW WAVE crap that is not helping these children to learn any better or faster and just lining the pockets of employees that you do not need.