For the fiscal year 2013/2014, the Department of Education will focus heavily on improving performance at all levels in its seamless education system. This includes improving performances at the National Test, SEA, CSEC and CAPE Examinations. Using the CEDP 2.0 the Division has set a number of targets and deliverables to achieve this aim.
Key initiatives include the construction of five Early Childhood Care and Education Centres at Belle Garden, Roxborough, Milford Court, Adventure and Courland as well as the starting of construction of the new Scarborough RC School and the school for the hearing impaired. Repairs and upgrades will also be undertaken to various ECCE Centres, primary and secondary schools around the island at a cost of over $18M in July and August 2013.
In the new fiscal year, the Department of Education will seek to revamp its school feeding programme to focus on healthy eating and increasing local content through the greater involvement of the Tobago farming sector. This initiative requires a $39M increase in expenditure and will be complemented by the expansion of sports and sporting programmes in all schools to reduce obesity and the incidence of being overweight.
These initiatives along with the full staffing of the School Curriculum Unit, the expansion of offerings in music and art and the incorporation of civics are part of the process of improving the school curricula on the island towards producing well rounded holistic individuals. In 2013/2014, the DEYAS (Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport) will also pay greater attention to the area of special education and support for students with disciplinary and behavioural challenges. This will be facilitated through student testing and evaluation, teacher training and upgrading the skill base of the Student Support Unit. The Division will be retrofitting Mardon House to serve as a centre for counselling and rehabilitation of students.
The Division is anticipating that the new Scarborough library will be open to the public in the new fiscal year and is working diligently to obtain the requisite staffing and equipment to ensure that Tobagonians obtain the greatest benefit from this long awaited facility. As the leader in education in Tobago, the DEYAS plans to make the greatest use of ICT during the fiscal year to improve significantly the information flow and communication with its stakeholders. A key aspect of this involves the use of various media to improve literacy and the teaching of mathematics
The DEYAS would also build upon its programmes and partnerships with other agencies in increasing the educational opportunities for school leavers, drop outs, rural youth and those engaged in lifelong learning. The Division will also be working closely with the Office of the Chief Secretary in expanding the range of tertiary education opportunities available on the island and the development of the University of Tobago.