JIS News

Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson has implored educators, parents and communities as a whole to be cognisant of the way in which they were influencing the lives of children and to seek to make a positive impact.
She was speaking at the 34th anniversary founder’s day ceremony of the Dental Auxiliary School on Arthur Wint Drive on Tuesday (May 4). Noting that National Education Week was being observed from May 2-8, Mrs. Henry Wilson said educating was not just for those with formal training and that every move that an adult made was recorded and mimicked by youngsters.
The Education Minister informed that one of the efforts being made through the Ministry’s Early Childhood programme was to focus on all aspects of life as it related to children, and not just monitor academic development. She noted that to this end, the Early Childhood Commission was concentrating on the holistic development of the country’s children. “We believe that if we start them from early with good practices, not just about academics, but also about life and how they relate to each other, they will stand in good stead,” she reiterated.
Turning to dental health, the Education Minister pointed out that “dental care is about lifestyle, it’s not only about what happens when you go to the dentist. This is why it is so very important that we have the Dental Auxiliary School and the dental nurses who can go behind the confines of the dental surgery and really interact with our children and our people and make sure that they are practising the very best dental care”. She further emphasized that the institution’s dental health programme and the work of dental nurses and para professionals in the field had been very important in equipping youngsters and the society as a whole with important lifestyle practices.
Mrs. Henry-Wilson also mentioned that all health training programmes were being gradually transferred to the Ministry of Education, including the Dental Auxiliary School. Director of the school, Dr. Jon Jones told JIS News that plans were being put in motion to have the institution transferred from the Ministry of Health during the next financial year.”We want to make sure that the educational standards and practices are world class, that when we do the testing, the curriculum, the practical.that we can compare them across countries, and this is what the Ministry of Education is set up to do,” she elaborated, adding, “in terms of global competence and global professionalism, we want to make sure that you are not out there on a limb. The second reason is that we realize that in this day and age, you can move between professions and up in your own profession”.
The institution which currently has 20 students enrolled was established in May 1970 with one programme, and has since moved to four programmes, which include dental assistant; dental hygiene; dental laboratory and technician, and dental nurse/therapist.

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