by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Minister of Education, Youth, and Culture Jonel Powell suggest a change in the curriculum of students involved in the creative arts in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry Entrepreneurship, Entertainment and Talent Development (MoENT).
“The two ministries can partner in terms of providing the technical support behind the creative industry. By that I mean, using the schools as a forum to start educating persons who can sing on the business side of singing and the technical sides of singing. We can start providing that technical advice and support to kids at the school age, [so] that when they finish, they would be in a better position to really become entrepreneurs and professionals within the creative industry,” said Minister Powell.
With such an addition to the curriculum, it would present students and young people several avenues to develop their talents within the entertainment world to be retained in the island Federation.
“Within the primary and secondary schools, I think that there is a need to ramp up the existence of performing arts within our schools…It’s not just [a] matter of getting a dance teacher and teaching children dancing but to integrate it into the curriculum, which is part of our continuous curriculum development,” continued Powell.
As the Minister suggested, it is not a simple matter; the cost of sourcing and hiring teachers, purchasing equipment, software and facilities.
The Ministry of Education 2017–2021 Education Sector Plan approximates the cost spent per child in 2013 was EC$6,500 at the primary level and EC$8,400 at secondary school. In Nevis, expenditure per child was EC$4,700 at the primary level and EC$6,400 at the secondary level.
The spend does not include programme expenditure; Access and Participation, Curriculum and Assessment, Professionalizing the Teaching Force, etc., with an estimated cost of EC$76 million over the five years.
A constant infusion of funds is necessary to create and maintain technical advice and support opportunities within the education system to fuel new educational opportunities for young creatives.