Dr Wheatley gave that indication during the opening ceremony of the workshop on Monday. The workshop is geared towards adopting CARICOM teaching standards locally.
He said if a better group of teachers are to enter the profession in the BVI, a teacher’s education programme with standards will be needed.
“We need a recruitment strategy underpinned by standards. We need an orientation and mentorship system that inculcates standards. We need an evaluation process based on commitment to standards and adherence to standards. We need a licensing system which is based on standards,” Dr Wheatley stated.
“If we want to see technology utilised in the classroom, that has to be apart of our standards. If we want to see a pedagogical approach that is student-centred and appeals to different learning styles, that must be tied to our standards. If you want equity and access in education [and] if we want better learning outcomes, that has to reflect in the internalisation of our standards,” he added.
Dr Wheatley also said it is important for the local education system to continue to evolve, develop and adapt to the growing demands of the economy and the social structure.
He said this can be done through the implementation of new programmes which will help to fill some of the present gaps that exist.
“This morning, I opened a work programme in the Seventh District focused on primarily young men, many who never finished high school. So as a district representative, I see first-hand the impact of those who have not been sufficiently served by our education and our social system,” he stated.
“We have another stratum of young people who need better preparation to compete in the main sectors of the economy because the industries are under pressure and performance is key,” the minister added.
Dr Wheatley further said that better student performances will also be needed in subject areas such as mathematics and science as the BVI’s future economy will depend heavily on those areas.