Time to restructure and invest in education system – Saint Jean

St. Jean

Education Minister, Petter Saint Jean has said he believes the time is right to make significant changes in Dominica’s education structure and greater investment in the system.

“I believe this is the time that we have to consider more than ever before where we can make major adjustments to the education structure and invest significant new resources to redevelop the system and to establish new pathways,” Saint Jean said while delivering remarks at the Dominica Association of Teachers’ (DAT) 20th National General Meeting on Wednesday.

The minister urged educators to see themselves as an enabling force, “enhancing the joy of learning and inculcating curiosity in our students which will serve them well over their lifetime.”

He said a major impetus is the need to shift away from an overemphasis on academic grades and assessment and to invigorate the classroom through applied and inquiry-based learning.

Saint Jean went on to say that there is indisputable evidence that many students, parents, teachers and members of the public are supporting this idea of more engaged teaching and learning.

Saint Jean stated also that principals and teachers understand that the professional demands on them are ever increasing, “yet I believe that they welcome the challenge and as government, we have invested heavily in education because we see it as a fundamental driver of economic and social mobility.”

He said in the past 15 years the government has set an unprecedented record for advancing the education of our children and young people in Dominica.

“This contribution to education and the development of our human resource is unparalleled,” he stated. “Hundreds of Dominicans have completed studies in various fields of endeavor and hundreds more are currently pursuing studies in areas of national priority.”

He added, “This includes a number of our teachers in whom your government have invested in excess of $12 million over the last two [2] financial years.”

Saint Jean pointed out that his ministry is cognizant of, and recognizes the daily changes that confront teachers within the service.

He suggested that in order to make a sustainable change that empowers professionals in Dominica, “we must work together with a common purpose.”

“I can say without fear or contradiction that the Ministry of Education has been a partner of the Dominica Association of Teachers in the pursuit of a better and more conducive work condition for our teachers,” he noted. “We must understand that for our teachers to give out their best they must feel appreciated in the workplace and more than anything, they must be compensated adequately.”

Saint Jean mentioned that the DAT, as the representative body for teachers, has done an exceptional job representing the interest of teachers.

He encouraged the DAT to continue to represent their membership in a responsible, yet aggressive manner, to ensure that their most pressing concerns are addressed.

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37 Comments

  1. Yez
    April 27, 2019

    What needs to be addressed promptly is the Goodwill Secondary School situation. Has Mr. St. Jean visited the school to talk to teachers, parents and students? This is the only Secondary School operating on an afternoon shift. If you look in the gardens in the afternoon, Goodwill school students are up and about engaged in all kinds of extra activities. This situation is getting out of hand. Grammar school is being disadvantaged as well because of this arrangement. This situation needs to be addressed urgently. When a parent leaves home in the morning and expects their child to report to school in the afternoon it is difficult to ensure that they do unless you call the school and ask everyday. That’s a strain on parents as well especially if you have no one to supervise your child. It’s time for Goodwill school to be made a priority!

  2. Questions
    April 26, 2019

    This Government has failed us so badly; its saddening. Dominica could have been in such a better position after 19 years. But alas!! What fruits can we see after the reign of DLP. Sustainable jobs were not created for the people, a city that is not aesthetically pleasing to visitors and residents; an economy that is totally false. A people begging at the feet of one man for almost everything they need. After 19 years of the same Government “working” for and with the people; we should see the fruits of your labour, and vote accordingly. There should be no need to use the peoples money to buy them to keep you on your thrown of power; to continue to enrich yourself and make them poor. Shame! Shame! on you.

  3. Ibo France
    April 26, 2019

    The Minister’s utterance is perfect evidence of an abysmal failure of a government for the past nineteen (19) years. Too many schools are mostly run-down and lack the necessary resources. Much more emphasis should be placed on advancing IT (Information Technology) in the schools. Vocational education should be an integral part of the education system. The curriculum should be adjusted to aster not only to those who are academically inclined but for those who are otherwise gifted. The Minister’s presentation is fraught with generalities and lacks specificity. He was mostly trying to score political points. Amazing! This man was fired unceremoniously for the upcoming elections but still trying to give the government undeserved commendation for its colossal failure to move education into modernity.

  4. My Little Take
    April 25, 2019

    If Saint Jean was serious about significant changes in our education and Dominica on a whole, he would have done these three things:

    1. Call the other 7discarded and rejected ministers that won their seat and convince them to forget about all the money Skerrit promised them and put Dominica first by resigning forthwith.

    2. Call on Dominicans to reject Skerrit because after 20 years we got 20 yrs worse

    3. He should point the BAD changes that Skerrit brought to Dominica such as: A. Destruction of our village councils
    B. Destruction of the Church
    C. Destruction of families and family value
    D. Destruction of Community spirit
    E. Destruction of Sports
    F. Build a lazy and begging culture
    G Destruction of agriculture
    H. Forced Ross University out
    I. Destruction of our hospitals and health care
    J. Destruction of our young men
    K When PJ, OJ, Mamo, Eddo, Rosie and Piero left office we had resources we could tap into to help make DA better. Under Skerrit we have nothing…

  5. Massacre
    April 25, 2019

    But where was these guys 19 years ago nor?After 19 yrs , you all are telling us that now is the time time to rethink our education system?
    It is clear that this Lazy Labor Party is tired and have run out of ideas.

    Go away and don’t come back.

  6. Established
    April 25, 2019

    Petter St. Jean says so without shame!!! Skerrit fired him without he knew, he found through silent whispers, but he continues to speak of restructuring education. Them man have guts they speak that way yet still the Public Library located on one of the busiest and most frequent used streets with excellent visibility of the library, in Roseau, is still uncovered,, two years after maria. Ooops forgot the library, is located right in the entrance of the President and now Prime Ministers residence. You see mister them worry about education???After 19 years Petter St.Jean speaks of restructuring education magraWsay!! but he is speaking under his new title that is the outgoing Minister of uneducation and the labor party discarded representative for the Laplaine constituency.

  7. jaded
    April 25, 2019

    Saint Jean said a lot but said nothing. Where are the specifics? Every child should be taught coding. In the U.S. some schools teach coding from 1st Grade. As the minister of Education I was expecting more from Saint Jean.

  8. Karl Orndem
    April 25, 2019

    What is the status of the Goodwill Secondary School? Why cant the old wing of Grammar School be demolished and rebuilt? It will fall down on children one day. Why are our teachers not getting an increase in pay? Universal Education has had negative effects on the upbringing of our youth. They do not respect authority anymore. But yet we you are serious about education and you think the time is right. Many of our primary schools around the island are not in the best conditions.

  9. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 25, 2019

    “The minister urged educators to see themselves as an enabling force, “enhancing the joy of learning and inculcating curiosity in our students which will serve them well over their lifetime.”

    All of the above is nothing more than BS as in (Bulls..t). Every student in school are there because they are curious to learn; that is the reason people go to school.

    Somme people however; are slower than others due to a lack of cognition, and retention power; for students in that kind of situation, a special educational system should be created to suit them.

    Even in places as Los Angeles they have Sylvan Learning where slow and handicap learners go to ensure they have the same opportunity as everyone.

    Unless, you are thinking in therms of developing a four year college, and a four year university, to teach science as the world knows it at the highest level leading to do R&D in all forms, hence; creating jobs you are only defecating Co2 from your mouth!

  10. Ezzo
    April 25, 2019

    Now St Jean I want you to check out the southern district principals. Check out the schools where the teachers are saying they cant be transferred it is their Government that is in power. Sometimes my children come home only to tell me no school because it is the principals birthday smh. Really. oh what about the teacher who comes to school after ten on a daily basis and facebook is the classroom. Mr. St Jean please check out the south. You will find out alot more.

  11. petal
    April 25, 2019

    One of the changes that need to happen is examining the principals who are caught in precarious positions. The ones who are considered to be abusing young boys and you all are just sweeping it under the carpet. I would like to see this transferring of teachers who are non performing to other schools. Many schools can attest to this some schools are considered the dumping grounds for bad teachers,

    • Pearla
      April 25, 2019

      You mean like the one that was baptizing a young man in the river not too long ago. The Ministry wouldnt hear about that one at all. I pray that he gets deliverance and leave the young boys alone. You see the role models this generation has.

  12. Nudibranch
    April 25, 2019

    So many empty schools, turn them into tech schools and turn out people with skills more suited to their abilities. Electricians, plumbers joiners, finish carpenters etc. a business course should also be included.
    If you have teachers who are not passionate about anything but the next paycheck how can they pass on a joy of learning and inquiry to their students? Reading from the book isn’t teaching, some of the kids can read faster and better than the person “trying to teach”.
    Most of the schools were damaged, rebuild and bring them up to date.

  13. April 25, 2019

    Within days of the fire that damaged the roof, interior and spire of the Notre Dame cathedral, over one billion dollars had been donated for restoration.

    What will prove more difficult to find, are the master craftsmen able to carry out the work. This speaks volumes about the need to train skilled workers and to give them the status which is their due.

    In 1943 Herbert Read shook the educational establishment with his book “Education Through Art”. The publication marked a turning point in the culture of education. Perhaps one day the shock waves will filter through to our own Ministry for Education. Currently Creative Arts and Skills are either totally absent in schools, or languish on a back-burner turned down low.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      April 25, 2019

      You always have to talk some crap!

      Master craftsman what?

      These days computers do architectural  drawings;  there is nothing that was built 850 years ago that cannot be duplicated by, and redesigned precisely as it was built 850 years ago by programming  a computer to do it.

      Architects these days utilize commuters, and printers to draw the most sophisticated plans, blue prints and anything related to buildings.

       Man has landed on moon: in the twenty-first century they are talking about colonizing the Mars, and go beyond Mars; you in Dominica talking crap about master craftsman which has absolutely nothing to do about Petter brand of education.

      Eight hundred-fifty years ago when Notre Dam was built, there were no aircraft’s flying: that was an old way of doing things, times have changed the industrial age came along, followed by all sorts of modern technology, yet you remain in your backwardness in Dominica talking…

      • Karl Orndem
        April 26, 2019

        HE is speaking about changes in the curricullum which are centered away from theory and more practical vocational courses which will ensure that the youth have a skill. He is making a point about Notre Dame which was an architectural masterpiece constructed 100’s of years ago, but today not many crafts men have that level of skill, if at all to construct a building that will last hundreds of years. I agree with Mr. Burnette. Yes times have changed, but common sense hasnt. Read between the lines and think openly instead of in a box. Architects these days cannot build structures that last centuries. that withstand earthquakes like those of ancient times. To this day NOONE can properly explain how the pyramids in Eqypt were built. Not with computers thats for sure. We need to tailor or curricullum to suit what is really needed here. Skilled labour. Not just book junkies who can regurgitate information and pass a test. Time to build the country and do it properly. So again i agree.

  14. destinee
    April 25, 2019

    Mr Minister whats the verdict on the rebuilding of the State college? When was the last time you visited the structure?

  15. %
    April 25, 2019

    Peter Pepper wanted to smoke some teachers out of their holes, but instead Skerrit smoked him out from his hole. Peter Pepper you are so useless now that I see you as a comic!! The next government will do what you are intimating, and will do it well.
    Peter Pepper is discarded
    Peter Pepper is discarded
    Peter Pepper is discarded now!

  16. Significant Change
    April 25, 2019

    “Education Minister, Petter Saint Jean has said he believes the time is right to make significant changes in Dominica’s….”

    Mr. Petter Saint Jean you talking in tongues but here is my interpretation of what you said in a nut shell: Petter Saint Jean said he believes the time is right to make SIGNIFICANT CHANGE to Dominica. So yes Dominicans St. Jen confirms that”it’s time for change”. So let’s go ahead and vote the only government that is capable of bringing real change and SIGNIFICANT change to Dominica. Vote UWP for significant change!!!

  17. RandyX
    April 25, 2019

    …and more propaganda talk from an already sidelined Minister of Skerrits failed regime. These people are so spineless, one wonders how they can stand upright.

    • Lin clown
      April 25, 2019

      Randy.George ,Monell,Felix,Lugay,Bazil Joshua,Ronald Charles and more will be sidelined the days of UWP are over.These guys are too incompetent and lazy.Every work place one goes the laziest workers are supporters of the UWP.

      • RandyX
        April 25, 2019

        If you think for only one minute I would engage in a discussion with a supporter of a corrupt and useless government… think again!

      • Karl Orndem
        April 26, 2019

        but how do you know who votes for who and who supports who? is it written on their forehead. Lin Clown again because i disagree with you, doesnt mean i side with your enemy. It only means that there is a chance that i might, if they dont become my enemy as well. Again, if i am the laziest person in my office, you will never know which party i support. In essence, you are continuing to spew ignorance. One of the biggest things that has continued to keep us back as a country. This kind of nonsense thinking. grow up. change the way you think. read a book or something. because you sound like one of thise older people who are way too stuck in your little hamlet ways. there is more to life outside of party politics. Think of the nation progress regardless of who is in power. imagine everyone genuinely happy and smiling and productive regardless of PM or party. That is how you should think. Not being a little bag boy for Skerrit or Linton or whoever you decide to follow at the time.

  18. Rat Race
    April 25, 2019

    We live in a country where the youths are still being taught that Christoper Columbus was some type of hero…. Dominica needs all kinds of change.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      April 25, 2019

      The adventures of Columbus is part of our history.
      Therefore it must be taught at kindergarten level; however, not  portraying Christopher, as a hero, but for one of those who brought diseases, such as chickenpox in blankets, and transmitted it to our indigenous Caribbean Indians.

      We must never forget they brought syphilis, and gonorrhea, not only to Dominica, but all over the Caribbean, and  the Americas!

      And while we are at it, Dominica is also part of the “America’s.” Children must be taught that one cannot discover what was already discovered by the Dominica indigenous, the Caribs.
      If anything I would say Columbus adventures took him to Dominica.

      We must remember that life itself began in Africa: Every other place on earth was without human habitation until Africans began the migration to Europe, and every other place, even long before something catastrophe took place shattering, dividing the planet earth; hence, we have islands and continents, people lived in…

    • Codkapi
      April 25, 2019

      We should also talk about the hard working teachers who have to use their salary to buy teaching aids to facilitate learning.

  19. Karl Orndem
    April 25, 2019

    nonsense. Te majority of public school as well as private schools are left wanting. What is the situation with Goodwill Secondary? Why hasnt the government taken a serious look at the old wing of the Dominica Grammar School? Why doesnt the government look into establishing multi purpose facilities that encourage sports in the roseau area and other environs? We are too stuck in that archaic way of education. Universal education has only made our youth worse as they now have no discipline or manners. We need to get serious about educating our youth properly as they are our future.

  20. Looking
    April 25, 2019

    My,My oh My. What more can I say? Same was said by the new minister of agriculture.

  21. truth2power
    April 25, 2019

    ONLY NOW??
    Isn’t it too late… let the chips fall where they may

    • Shaka zulu
      April 25, 2019

      Above is a perfect display of what is wrong with our politicians and society. Here is a man elected to serve and has been the minister of education for years. He is the one to direct and ensure restructure and investment needed in education is realized. His government had 20 years. Instead of doing what needs to be done and telling us of the results and success/or failure and improvements implemented he is running his trap talking about what is needed. We are a country good at identifying problems and blame everyone else but ourselves. Its like you go to PMH the doc looks at you say you need emergency surgery then turns his back and go see how many nurses he can undress while you there dying. The same Doc was boasting he is best at any emergency surgery. That is Dominica for you. This guy is saying he has been a waste of tax payers money. Empty fools always makes the most noise. When will we see action and measurable results?

    • JBaptiste
      April 25, 2019

      Dude speaks like an incoming education minister,20 years later.

  22. %
    April 25, 2019

    You knew what needed to be done Petter,and you all failed to do it..Now you are a discarded and rejected politician, you are making us believe you are genuine . The new government will do what is necessary…You all DLP wickeds failed the education system!!
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

  23. Gouvelma
    April 25, 2019

    St Jean, my friend, a little not much confession is really good for the soul. Are you admitting after ten years as education minister that you and the labor party have failed us. You need to apologize to those in school presently and those who have passes through over the last twenty years. Our young men are all sitting on the roadside. Our school population is less than it was in 2000 when our population was much smaller. All will not be academically inclined. What have youtoone to cater for those who fall on the away side. You WERE a Christian and know that not all seeds which fall in the frond germinate and even those that germinate not all bear fruits. Look at the number of stray, lost young men in your village. An indictment on your representation as a parl rep and minister of education! Is the failure only now beckoming clear to you now that Skerritt has kicked you to the curb unknowing to you and publicly humiliating you? Are you having a wake up moment in the run up to election

  24. Door
    April 25, 2019

    Hey Petter is it true that you just bought a jeep for $180,000 and you are also building new home next to the Taberi river in La Plaine? Indeed its high time we invest in education andto find out what our public officials are doing and why they are doing so well when others are doing so bad…… I agree…

  25. More Fire
    April 25, 2019

    But wait, on your out, “there is a needs for significant change in Dominica Education structure”?? After 19 years??? Country really rolling backwards…….Shame…………

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      April 25, 2019

      Mr./Miss More Fire; have you been to Wesley recently? What do you have to say about Mama Land now?

  26. Iamanidiot
    April 25, 2019

    Despite the millions being sent to universities around the world for children whom the majority is not returning to Dominica to work?(partially because Dominica has no work in their field?)
    Where are the good jobs in Dominica? NBD , one of the banks and being a clerk in Government? Where else ?
    Yes, lets throw more money at education.

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