Government announces Education Reform Department


As Government seeks to address the issues that affect access to education across the country, the Education Ministry has announced a new department that will focus on reforming the sector. It is against the backdrop of this year’s theme for education month; ‘Promoting wellness in communities through quality education’ that Education Minister Nicolette Henry acknowledged the need for initiatives to be implemented to improve the sector. Speaking at the launch of Education Month, she highlighted that reforms to the education sector are high on Government’s agenda.
“It is for that reason that the Department of Education Systems, Innovation and

Education Minister Nicolette Henry

Reform will be established in the Ministry of Education,” she stressed.
Without going into much detail about the impending department, Minister Henry indicated that it will be established before the end of 2017. Among the reforms to be pursued include adding Indigenous languages to the school curriculum which is currently undergoing a review, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson had related earlier this week.
The Ministry is also seeking to carry through with plans to enhance programmes and policies for Special Education Needs (SEN) which will cater to students with special learning needs, including those living with disabilities. Minister Henry stated on Monday that this year’s Education Month will include activities that focus on special needs areas.
Back in July, it was announced that construction would commence for a new special education needs school in Schoonord, West Bank Demerara. This school will cater to the needs of students who have special educational needs due to severe learning difficulties, physical disabilities or behavioural problems. Regional Education Officer (REDO) Penelope McIntosh told this publication that the facility at Schoonord is slated to cater for 25 to 30 students. She had further explained that the staff compliment would be based on the number of students that will be placed in the special needs institution when it is established.
Over the past several years, SEN departments have been established at various schools, including Wales Primary and at St Rose’s High. However there is much debate on whether students with some learning difficulties should be allowed to be integrated in standard classrooms.