Education Minister updates on countering social promotion in schools, improvement in maths instruction, and strengthening of the technical & vocational stream

Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Strategies to counter the effects of social promotion in public schools are being implemented by The Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training.

The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister with responsibility for schools, shared steps toward this goal August 14, 2023 at the 2023 Public School Administrators’ Conclave, held at Atlantis, Paradise Island.

“To counter the deleterious effects of social promotion, the Ministry is reviewing and analyzing GLAT results over the last decade, enhancing processes of communication at the school level and with parents, and a review of the exam itself to ensure it is age-appropriate and adequately tests the foundational skills, and that the results inform appropriate strategies to redress concerns or deficits identified in any and every child.

“It is clear that default at this stage strongly suggests exacerbation and poorer outcomes in later years. We cannot tolerate that in the educational system,” said Minister Hanna-Martin.

Among other initiatives presented in the keynote address is a study to improve the teaching and study of mathematics. Scheduled to begin “soon,” the study is designed to undertake the following:

  • Strengthen the pedagogical skills and deepening the content knowledge of teachers of mathematics throughout the country;
  • Diagnose the challenges to learning mathematics as presented by students at all levels of the system, and;
  • Determine the match between expected curriculum outcomes and the availability of human and material resources.

Administrators were also informed of efforts to strengthen the technical and vocational stream of the curriculum.

“Very soon we will announce the commencement date of the construction of  the new Polytechnic Institute, the site will serve as an up-skilling hub for Bahamian students, providing increased opportunities for the development of career and technical education skill sets. The institute will advance training in a phased-in approach, using an academy model, supported by state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities.

“Construction subject matter experts will provide training for students in Computer Aided Drafting, HVAC, Tile Laying, Roofing. The introduction of the institute will center on the Academy of Construction, inclusive of the trade and technology (IT) to aid the trade.”

To enhance the country’s maritime commerce capacity, a maritime component, in conjunction with the LJM Maritime Academy and the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), will also be facilitated in the initial phase.

Furthermore, Minister Hanna-Martin remarked that the Office of the Prime Minister has engaged a consultant to review and develop sporting facilities nationwide and in particular on school campuses.

“We have received the pledge of the development of new track facilities on several of our school campuses in the upcoming months,” she said.   (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)