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  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is advising school principals not to measure their competence on the basis of examination passes but on the value they add to the students and schools that they lead.
  • “The measure is adding value…it’s very important when we recognise the need not to be complacent with mediocrity, but rather to strive for excellence and to hold ourselves accountable for that,” he said.
  • “If the Minister of Education does not add value to the education process, the Minister should go, and that has to be the standard for every one of us in every aspect of our life,” he pointed out.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is advising school principals not to measure their competence on the basis of examination passes but on the value they add to the students and schools that they lead.

“The measure is adding value…it’s very important when we recognise the need not to be complacent with mediocrity, but rather to strive for excellence and to hold ourselves accountable for that,” he said.

“If the Minister of Education does not add value to the education process, the Minister should go, and that has to be the standard for every one of us in every aspect of our life,” he pointed out.

The Education Minister, who was addressing a principal’s conference at the St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz, on Friday (June 12), urged the school leaders to always question themselves on how they are using the limited available resources to add value to education.

“Is what I am spending my time doing, is what we are spending our money doing, adding value, not to me…but to the students, because that, after all is the only worthwhile objective,” he said.

Turning to the matter of textbooks, Rev. Thwaites is appealing to principals to ensure that students care for the books provided by the Government.

He said that focus is now being placed on reducing annual expenditure on texts, and as part of the measure, the cycle for replacement of books has been extended.

Minister Thwaites noted that hundreds of millions are spent each year to purchase texts, which could be redirected to other areas of need.

More than $900 million was allocated to the National Textbook Programme for 2014/15.

“We have been spending …every year to buy new textbooks for our children. We found also that some of these books never are distributed. We found also that many of those books are very poorly cared for…we are rotating (books) every three years and so we have to make some changes where we expect that our books must last much longer,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rev. Thwaites said the Ministry has realised significant savings “from policies, which ask teachers to study part-time instead of leaving the classroom and creating the need for the employment of temporary teachers.”