Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 21, 2016 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis unveiled its Education Policy Review Final Report on September 20, which is the first education policy review conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean which stands as an example of a “best practice” in policy and planning to be emulated across the region, says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards.

According to the report, in 2014- 2015, UNESCO was tasked with carrying out the education policy review. As part of the process, it was agreed that UNESCO and the Government would review and asses four education policy domains, drawing on their sector priorities and provide a set of policy recommendations to contribute to educational development in the country.

The four policy domains include, academic staff, curriculum development teaching and learning environments and governance, planning, management, funding and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) policies.

The Minister said that it was his pleasure to report that issues and recommendations put forth in the review were “vetted and validated locally in 2015 and since then have been used to formulate many of the policy goals and strategies that will comprise the Ministry of Education five-year sector plan- , which is currently being drafted and is set to take effect in 2017.”

“In fact, the Ministry has already begun to respond to the recommendations in the UNESCO report by commissioning openSIS (Student Information System) – a web-based EMIS (Education Management Information System) tool that will significantly improve data management at the Ministry and institutional levels by financing training for Ministry of Education (MOE) officers in various aspects of education planning and resource management, and by appointing a Chief of Education Planning to, among other things, manage policy coordination and strategy implementation across the Federation.”

Minster Richards said that just as the policy review is a landmark of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean, it is his aim that, over the next five years, the Ministry of Education will also be able to successfully highlight the synergy between effective policy review and the development of a relevant education sector plan.

“The upcoming plan considers very closely issues of quality and equity in line with the new global education agenda for 2030, and if implemented with fidelity, the Ministries of Education on both islands will be pursuing transformations that will, over time, positively impact individual, social, and national outcomes,” said the Minister.

The Education Minister said that the identification of the systemic strengths and weaknesses for the policy review was a collaborative process, and he looks forward to continued collaboration with all education stakeholder groups in translating the new policy priorities into practice through the implementation of the Ministry’s strategic plan.