Minister of Education, the Hon Ronald Thwaites, says he will be partnering with his predecessor, Hon Andrew Holness, and Shadow Spokesperson on Education, Marissa Dalrymple Phillibert, to establish consensus on the way forward for Education.
Addressing members of staff of the Ministry’s Region 4 office in Montego Bay, during a tour of the facility, the Minister said that he is convinced that all wisdom in education does not emanate from the Ministry at National Heroes Circle, Kingston.
“I will be having breakfast with Mr. Holness next Wednesday, at my invitation, so that I can understand better some of his thinking and his ideals,” Mr. Thwaites said.
“I also want to include Mrs. Marissa Dalrymple Phillibert, the Shadow Spokesperson on Education, because you can be sure that we are going to try, as far as possible, to have a united consensus on the way forward in Education,” he added.
The Education Minister pointed out that it was important for the Ministry to lay a philosophical basis of renewal and encouragement, as all go forward in Education.
Addressing the fears of employees on the change of administration, the Minister said he will do everything to ensure that the jobs of those in the sector “who are serious and earnest and dedicated” are protected and enhanced.
“I am not interested in your political or religious persuasions… I am interested in your loyalty and your competence and your dedication,” he said.
Mr. Thwaites reiterated his call for the Ministry to begin to do better with available resources, and seek to ‘do it right the first time’, as greater emphasis and focus has to be placed on Early Childhood Education.
“I really feel that Early Childhood Education needs to be given a new standing in the educational matrix,” he said.
He stated that, to facilitate the best achievements at higher levels, the Ministry must do what must be done at the Early Childhood level.
The Minister said that continuous professional development was not an option, but an absolute necessity for everyone, and for every aspect of the education system.