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Screen_Shot_2014-10-09_at_8.01.58_PMManagers from the six district Education Centers in the country convened in Orange Walk for a meeting. The event is held on a quarterly basis. Senior members of the staff were also at the meeting in which they seek to discuss a number of issues that affect the education system in the country. Education Center Manager for the Orange Walk District, Carla Alvarez elaborated on their focus for this meeting.

Carla Alvarez – District Education Manager

“We have with us today the person in charge of the inspectorate who goes around doing the full supervision in certain schools; we also have the person in charge of the teaching service commission Mrs. Sosa and she will be giving us a presentation and discussion segment. This is to give us update on new developments and it also gives us managers and opportunity to discuss some of the issues that we have because in some cases some issues might be the same but in other cases it might just be particular to a certain district. We recognize and we know and we are trying to find ways to bring in the managements have them more accountable. Many times we have principals coming in asking what will the Ministry of Education do? The reality is that if it is a denominational school it is the management that is supposed to take the initiative to resolve any problem that is there and the Ministry of Education offers the support that is the way it should be so we are trying to find ways in which the management will become more involved in the process. For example one of the things I do here in Orange Walk is to hold meeting with my local managers every single month. We bring up issues such as the rules that are on the handbook and we find out that many times they have a lot of questions and so sometimes things that are done by the management is not necessarily because they want to do it but because maybe they were not aware of certain regulations and rules.”

Deputy Chief Education Officer, Carol Babb, was also present at the meeting. She says that they have seen much improvement in the education system over the years but still there is much to be done.

Carol Babb – Deputy Chief Education Officer

“We’ve seen a lot of improvement I can say that since I have taken over as their supervisor that managers and staff are more present in schools they are doing more supervision and providing more support and interventions with schools in their areas. I think the biggest challenge we are facing across the country is reading, literacy and we are working hard to address that and then math follows closely behind but for this school year we want to do more assessment and also to do some interventions to address those problems. This will include training of teachers in teaching them how to do the assessment and how to address the problems that they encounter in their areas. As for managers I think they are doing s god job they are more present in school and we know what the problems are and we have developed plans to address those problems so each manager is very conversant with their schools in their area and they have a plan of action that they need to put together as to how they will address those problems in their areas.”

Babb adds that to achieve good success everyone, even parents, need to come on board and support the efforts of the ministry. The meeting will continue tomorrow.

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