Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 20, 2017 (SKNIS): Technology integration in schools is very critical to the learning environment and because of this a large component of the Education Sector Plan is geared towards it, said Director of Education Management Information Systems (EMIS), Christopher Herbert.
“Technology is absolutely critical; the mindset that goes along with instructions around technology is what we are very interested in seeing being developed on our nation’s youth,” Mr. Herbert said, while making reference to the 21st Century skills set, which focuses on collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication. “That skills set has been deemed as critically important in creating a new sense of identity. We are very interested in well-rounded students, we are interested in students that are able to not only find work in existing traditional work spaces here in St. Kitts and Nevis, but we are also looking at innovators.
“We are looking at persons who see the value of creating their own content, content that is culturally relevant to us here in St. Kitts and Nevis and the region. We also want to see students that are able to fit in,” Mr. Herbert further added.
The Director of EMIS said that it is the view that the teaching of technology, as well as its integration in classrooms will create that set of adjustments, focus, mindset and perspectives that are extremely valuable to the 21st Century citizens.
Making reference to subjects taught using technology, Mr. Herbert said that currently there is only a focus on Information Technology and Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM). He did however mention that there is a strong embrace of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Education Sector Plan.
“The TVET skills that are being incorporated in the sector plan are more [geared] towards the 21st Century skills; collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication. TVET is a cross-cutting component and so we expect to see the use of technology whether it be from an infrastructural standpoint, very specific devices or integration of that skill set teaching. That is what we expect to see in the classroom,” said the EMIS Director.
Mr. Herbert said that an important aspect of technology integration is having teachers properly trained. He added that sometime ago there was an initiative that sought to build capacity in teachers, and that specific officers were trained specifically in the Microsoft Certified Educator Programme.
“That is deemed as indeed a good practice and has been deployed globally. A very specific office in the Ministry of Education has been providing that focus at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Teacher Education Programme. So teachers are indeed being exposed to content areas that fall under Microsoft Certified Educator Programme,” he stated.