Evaluate before you teach — Thwaites
EDUCATION Minister Ronald Thwaites is urging teachers and principals to evaluate the emotional stability, social arrangement and physical wellness of their students at the start of the school year before beginning the curriculum.
"Spend the time getting to know your students; find out who needs breakfast, who needs to get their eyes tested. Insist that they submit to tests that are being arranged with the Ministry of Health to be administered," he said, speaking at a press conference at the ministry's head office last week.
He said while all this cannot be done before the start of the upcoming academic year in September, it ideally ought to be done during the first term of school.
"It will help to ensure that they make the best of their educational opportunities," he said.
Thwaites said the ministry was seeking to engage volunteer and salaried psychologists and social workers to help with these evaluations.
"We are stressing to our guidance counsellors the need to develop a profile on each of the children under their care and especially those entering an educational institution," he said.
He said, too, that parents will be required to exchange cellphone numbers with schoolteachers, as teachers are responsible for getting in touch with parents to discuss what is happening with children.
"Education has to be seen as an enhanced partnership between the school and the community and particularly the parents. We have to do the simple, but specific things that we probably have not done to ensure that we have the best possible outcomes," the minister said.