Education Minister Petter Saint Jean has revealed that the government of Dominica has engaged former Minister for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, Gloria Shillingford as a consultant to investigate the increase cases of dropouts among students on the island.
The minister made that announcement while delivering an address at the Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT) 13th Biennial Conference, held at the St Alphonsus Parish Hall in Goodwill on Wednesday.
“The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has engaged Mrs. Gloria Shillingford to investigate the causes of dropouts among our students and to make recommendations to the Ministry of Education in dealing with this problem which affects every one of us in the Dominican society,” he said. “I wish to advise and inform that against the serious challenges that confront us within the classroom and the wider community, and of course within the Ministry of Education and government been quite aware of the multiplicity of social issues which may result from an increased number of students who drop out from the school system.”
Additionally, he said, in the coming months the government will address a number of issues which impact personally on the performance of teachers and officers within the Ministry of Education.
“It is our hope that we will see increase motivation and output from all,” Saint Jean stated.
Meantime, Shillingford told Dominica News Online that the government, particularly the Ministry of Education is very concerned about a “relatively high” dropout rate, “particularly in our secondary schools.”
“We are investigating into the matter at both secondary and primary schools, and I will be doing that and giving my findings to the government and also my recommendations,” she noted. “My recommendations, my reports, everything has to be done within a year.”
The 13 th Biennial Conference is being celebrated under the theme: “Impacting Behavioural Change to Combat Global Warming.”