The Education Sector Enhancement Programme, familiarly known as EduTech, is a comprehensive education reform programme, which seeks to increase the number of young persons contributing to the sustainable social, cultural and economic development. The overall goal of the Programme is to:
- prepare students who are creative, numerate, literate, well-trained and readily re-trainable at any point in their development;
- ensure that all students understand the necessity of being able to live and work harmoniously with other persons in their environment;
- increase the efficacy of the teaching/learning process by encouraging teachers to shift to child-centred and more collaborative forms of learning in their classrooms; and
- ensure that all children leave school with the basic skills and abilities that are required to participate productively in the skill and technology-driven labour market.
The specific objectives of the Programme are to:
- repair and upgrade the existing school plant;
- integrate all available information and communications technologies within the school system;
- provide teacher training to enhance pedagogical skills;
- achieve the desired balance between teacher-centred and child-centred approaches; and
- strengthen the capacity of the Ministry to effectively manage the education system.
The Programme is managed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESIT), primarily through the ESEP Programme Co-ordinating Unit (PCU) and the Education Project Implementation Unit (EPIU). There are also various committees in place to assist in the design, implementation and monitoring of the Programme. The committee members are drawn from a cross-section of education-sector and societal stakeholders, including Ministry personnel, education professionals, and representatives of teacher unions, the private sector, government agencies and parents. There are five Programme committees - the Advisory Committee, the Policy Review Committee, the Planning and Implementation Steering Committee, the Demonstration Schools Steering Committee and the Phase 2 Schools Steering Committee.
At the school level, each programme school will have a School Implementation and Leadership Team (SILT), which will prepare school implementation plans and manage the reform process at the school level. The team will consist a team leader (usually the principal), and an Information Technology Co-ordinator (ITC). Team members are granted leave for Terms II and III of the academic year (January to July) to plan for Programme implementation in their schools and to receive training.
The Programme has four inter-related components:
- Civil Works- physical rehabilitation of school facilities to enhance the physical and learning environment;
- Technological Infrastructure- procurement and installation of hardware, software and technical infrastructure for the school system and the Ministry of Education;
- Human Resource Development
- Teacher Training - training of teaching and administrative staff within the school system;
- Institutional Strengthening - training and technical support for personnel from the Ministry and related institutions; and
- Curriculum Reform - revision of the curriculum to meet emerging needs within the Barbadian society.