PHILIPSBURG–A rally, a Teacher’s Appreciation Day and a series of awareness activities are amongst several initiatives that the Education on the Move Committee has planned for the remainder of this year as part of a massive campaign to get the community involved in educating the country’s children.
The Committee gave an insight into the activities it has planned at a press conference at the Government Administration building on Friday.
The Committee’s first activity was a “drop everything and read” initiative. The initiative, which began on Friday, urges everyone in the community to “drop everything and read,” for 10 minutes every Friday at 9:20am. Education Minister Silveria Jacobs said it was decided to start the campaign by focusing on literacy. She was happy to see the number of schools that participated in the literacy initiative and showed their support by posting pictures of their respective classes and schools reading on social media site Facebook.
Education Ministry Project Bureau Representative Angelique Romou said the activities planned by the Education on the Move Committee will include awareness interviews on radio and television, as well as awareness activities in the print media.
The intention is to get businesses involved either as a sponsor by making a financial contribution or by having their staffers wear the Education on the Move t-shirts on Fridays to promote the initiative and also give out paraphernalia to their customers.
Also planned is a rally in which it is hoped that all schools will participate. The intention is for the schools to “march” for education. The Education on the Move Committee is hoping to also get parents and workers involved in the rally, which is scheduled for August.
A Teacher’s Appreciation Day will be held in October and Romou says the day will be a “great surprise” for educators.
Jacobs said that though the appreciation day will be held in October, teachers should be appreciated throughout the year.
The Committee also wants to create awareness about compulsory education. Romou said many persons do not understand the concept of compulsory education and the intention is to provide information on this. Awareness will also be created about how multifaceted St. Maarten’s education system is and to show the options that are available to parents. Romou said many persons do not understand the choices that are available.
The Committee also wants to focus on the importance of the moral formation of the island’s children by looking at the way things were done back in the day.
Jacobs said meetings about the Committee had been held with various school boards and the board had been enthusiastic about it. Schools were asked to create their own banners and to highlight issues such as how they are promoting education and what makes teachers at their school good teachers.
The minister said although the Committee is an initiative of government; it will be independent.
Another goal, Jacobs said, is to also elevate the status of teachers to what it used to be back in the day when the profession was one of the most distinguished ones in society.
The Committee’s campaign will run from May to December and will resume in January, 2017.
Source: Daily Herald Jacobs starts Education on the Move Campaign