The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that a country’s social, economic and political needs all reflect its need of an educational system that allows students to be creative, develop new skills and grow as individuals. According to the Ministry of Education in Barbados, in the 2013-2014 year, the government invested almost $500 million into improving schools to provide a safe and academically challenging environment for children that will cultivate their growth into becoming productive members of society. Here are seven ways that Barbados is improving its education system:
- Education in Barbados uses the child-centered approach and does not let course work dictate a teacher’s pace in the classroom. Teachers move at whatever pace makes it easiest for students to comprehend the material.
- The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation oversees education by providing teachers with lesson plans, feedback and workshops to develop their classroom techniques.
- Girls and boys are given equal access to education, which is mandatory for both sexes until the age of 16. There are only three public primary schools in Barbados that are not co-educational.
- Parents, doctors and principals can recommend assistance for students with disabilities. Special education services are provided in eight public schools. There are two public schools for students with disabilities, including those who are hearing or visually impaired.
- There are three levels of schooling in Barbados, which all have a 39-week school year. These levels include primary, secondary and higher education.
- Schools in Barbados follow the outcomes-based learning approach, which provides national standards and education targets for schools and parents. Parents are able to track their children’s academic progress and be more involved in the academic process.
- The Ministry of Education has a department specifically designated for designing, analyzing and reforming examination standards. They work closely with school faculty to assure fair and proper testing in schools.
Parents, teachers and the government work together to assure that children receive a quality education in Barbados. They closely monitor student success and develop lesson plans that focus on the learning abilities and academic goals of each individual in the classroom with teaching styles that are both creative and successful. According to the Ministry of Education, 96 percent of children in Barbados between the ages of five and 16 are enrolled in schools, which ensures that they will receive the education necessary to have the opportunity for a successful and prosperous life.
– Helen Barker