ST LUCIA'S Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony has suggested that regional nations, like Jamaica, promote teachers along with their students in primary schools (as is done in Finland) to higher grades to boost performances in both mathematics and English Language.
Anthony who gave the keynote address at the inaugural Teachers' Colleges of Jamaica Teacher Education Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa on Wednesday, said regional nations should look seriously into piloting this in their education system
"If the Finns are on to something by allowing teachers to move along with their class for a number of years so that the teacher knows each child's weaknesses and strengths and can teach to suit those needs, then shouldn't we be considering piloting this in our own schools?" asked Anthony
He indicated, however, that while there are a lot of initiatives which are piloted in the region, steps to use them broadly as part of the curriculum are usually not taken by those with the authority to do so.
"How then do we reconcile what seem to continue to be monumental failings of our education system manifested in the performance of students in English and mathematics," the St Lucian prime minister asked.
Anthony said an education system must be a system that learns if it is to effectively promote learning, suggesting that teachers must continue to improve their skillsets and be at the forefront of development within the industry.
He also suggested that more needs to be done to ensure that the environment for learning changes, and is made suitable for new modalities of learning.
"It cannot remain fossilised. Our classrooms cannot be mock-ups of classrooms of the past, our labs and workshops need not be poorly put together, museums of 19th century scientific history," he said.
Anthony said the education system has the power of shaping minds, the power of unleashing creative spirit and was, therefore, a true wealth generator and conservatory of social capital accumulation.