Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports
House of Assembly
Release Date:
Wednesday, 6 March 2024 - 1:25pm

Statement By Honourable Sharie B. De Castro

Minister For Education, Youth Affairs & Sports

At-Large Representative

Ninth Sitting Of The First Session Of The Fifth

House Of Assembly Of The Virgin Islands

Tuesday, 5th March, 2024

Education Month 2024

Madam Speaker, it is with a profound sense of pride that I announce to this honourable house the declaration of March as Education Month in the territory. In a departure from previous practices where the celebration of educational progress spanned a week, the Ministry, recognising the significance of this endeavour, has decided to amplify its impact by extending this commemoration to an entire month. This strategic extension aims not only to showcase the strides made in education but also to actively engage and secure the robust support of our community. This transformative shift underscores our commitment to elevating the status of education as a paramount priority deserving of sustained recognition and celebration throughout the month of March.

Madam Speaker, as we commence Education Month 2024, the theme, "Reimagining Education: STEAMing Ahead with Innovation," underscores our steadfast commitment to cultivating a dynamic and progressive education system that equips our students to become critical thinkers, leaders and innovators. Over the past year, transformative changes have unfolded in alignment with our vision for an education system that not only imparts knowledge but also ignites a passion for learning and creativity. The introduction of a STEAM-focused paradigm in our classrooms has sparked a revolutionary leap, reshaping the landscape of teaching and learning. This is not merely an introduction; it signifies a paradigm shift where innovation, creativity, and critical thinking converge to redefine academic engagement.

Madam Speaker, the STEAM-focused approach, centred on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, fuels intellectual curiosity, fostering ingenuity and illuminating the path toward a future where interdisciplinary thinking becomes second nature. This transformative approach beckons students to explore unchartered territories, seamlessly blending the worlds of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The positive impact witnessed is not anecdotal; it's a testament to the empowerment of young minds, preparing them for a world where adaptability and innovation are paramount.

Yet Madam Speaker, the monumental task of reimagining education has only just begun. To forge enduring change, our commitment must extend beyond rhetoric, demanding unwavering investments in crucial pillars such as school infrastructure, teaching resources, teacher training and certification, and school leadership. Now is the time for a comprehensive examination of our education system, delving into the curriculum's relevancy, students' preparedness, and the urgent provision of resources that bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application. In essence, impactful change beckons us to invest in the foundations underpinning our education system. Only through resolute commitment to enhancing infrastructure, refining teacher expertise, and empowering school leaders can we usher in an era of education that transcends the conventional.

Madam Speaker, as we celebrate Education Month 2024, we invite the community to join us in shaping a future where every student is not just equipped with knowledge but is nurtured into a powerhouse of potential and capability. We beckon one and all to participate in the Education Round Table on March 12th, attend the Science and Innovation Fair on March 15th, participate in Teach for A Day, if you missed today, you are invited to take part on March 19th, visit schools during their Open House on March 21st, Rep Your College on March 22nd, view the Youth Symposium on March 25th and support the Pre-Primary Sports on March 27th.

Madam Speaker, I thank the community in advance for their engagement as we collectively lay the foundation for a vibrant and thriving Virgin Islands through the reimagining of education. Thank you, Madam Speaker.