Two weeks into our third term of office I am very excited to be back in Education. As you may recall, Education was one of the areas of Government business I started out in when I was first elected to Government almost eight years ago.
The main impression I have taken away from the last two weeks is that there is so much going on – new schools, hot lunches, co-education in the two comprehensive schools, alignment of key stages with an extra year in Bayside and Westside, the introduction of vocational pathways, and the continuation of our programme to expand the use of tablet technology in our schools.
All of this presents a number of challenges. It requires more than just hard work. It requires a determination to overcome all difficulties and create an even better education system. Ultimately, this is what it is all about – creating the right environment, facilities and infrastructure in which our children can thrive.
This term I will be visiting all of our schools. I have already visited St Anne’s, Notre Dame, Bayside and Westside. I have seen the wonderful facilities which we have created and spoken to a number of staff members. Everyone has spoken of how thrilled they are to be working in such great buildings.
Of course, it takes more than just new buildings to deliver good education. They are certainly a key component of making our children and teachers more comfortable and motivated, but it is what happens in these schools, it is what our teachers and all the staff that play a part in the education of our children that is key.
We have fantastic teachers who are committed to what they do. We also have a formidable team of professionals at the Department of Education. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Everyone knows what this is about. The children are paramount. Their educational needs and their welfare are at the heart of everything we do.
I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks, months and the rest of this term of office.
By Gilbert Licudi