Grenada’s new Chief Education Officer says one of his major priorities is keeping students at the centre of his practice to ensure their all-round development.
Dominic Jeremiah, former Principal of the Presentation Brothers College (PBC), also plans to prioritise supporting and facilitating the development of teachers, and working to achieve the policy direction of the Ministry of Education. The Chief Education Officer, who assumed his new position on Friday, 1 December believes some of the recent education policy initiatives are key for the sector.
The new Chief Education Officer, whose career in education spans more than 40 years, has taught at the primary, secondary and tertiary level in Grenada and the United States. He moved up the ranks from teacher, to head of department, vice principal and then principal at PBC, a position he held for 22 years. The former principal said parting with the college was emotional, but noted that the support for his new undertaking was overwhelming.
On his first day on the job, Jeremiah had initial meetings with Permanent Secretary Elvis Morain and the Senior Administrative Officer and former acting Chief Education Officer Alana Felix-Roberts.
“First of all, I want to spend my initial time at the ministry understanding the systems and the processes that are currently at work,” he said. “So, initially I just want to get to meet people, build relationships with people who are here, learn what the issues are and the ways in which I can support what is happening. Before I start articulating what my own vision is and my own best practice, I first want to understand what is happening.”
Some of the areas of focus for the education sector presently include improving access to quality education via the Free Tuition Programme, and removing the registration fees at the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels. Others encompass curriculum development to include teaching Grenadian History and Spanish in schools; expansion of the teaching of the creative and performing arts; approval of a Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy and Strategy; introduction of coding in schools and the development of a Healthy Start Nutrition Programme Strategy.
Jeremiah said, “I think the students and the system have an advantage in that these things are now available. I am particularly excited about the addition to the curriculum of Grenadian History, the text that has been produced, and I hope that more of that kind of work will happen.”
The Chief Education Officer’s love for the arts can also be expected to influence his work at the ministry and Jeremiah is ready to make his contribution. He explained, “I am under no illusion that everything will just be magical, but I would be happy if you keep me in your prayers, so that I can do what has to be done.”
Ministry of Education