St. Kitts – Nevis Leads Region In Early Childhood Education

Mrs. Jennifer Hodge - Principal Education Officer For Nevis

Mrs. Hodge – Principal Education Officer For Nevis

Charlestown, Nevis
May 16, 2008

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is at the forefront in providing early childhood education in the Region.  That’s the view of Principal Education Officer (PEO) for Nevis, Mrs. Jennifer Hodge. 
The top Education Official made the observation while she delivered welcome remarks and congratulated more than 16 pre-school teachers past and present, of the Charlestown Pre School at an awards banquet to celebrate the silver anniversary of the establishment. The event took place at the Old Manor Hotel on May 10, 2008.
“The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, is, if not, one of the leading, is the leading providers of early childhood education in the region and that is great testimony to what we are doing here in the Federation for our preschoolers ranging in ages 3 ““ 5.
“A solid education at the preschool level will prepare our children to manage better the core subjects at primary level and more often than not, to prepare them for tertiary level education and to cope with our knowledge based economy,” she said
The Education Official said the Charlestown Pre School which offered early childhood for the past 25 years, told an educational success story.  It has provided for a vast number of children island wide, good quality early childhood education and without a doubt, children’s lives had been enriched with the preschool experience, and their interest had been stimulated in life long learning.

Notwithstanding, Mrs. Hodge emphasised that although preschool education was not mandatory in the Federation, it was critical for children to have a solid foundation before they entered primary school. She said the Nevis Island Administration had made every effort to ensure the structures were in place to provide the essential services.
“Over the years various measures have been taken and introduce to provide quality education for our preschoolers, one of which has been the raising of the entry level for our teachers. We are looking at minimum academic qualifications for all of teachers entering the pre schools.
 “A substantial amount of time and money has been invested in training for all of the workers, supervisors right down to cooks, everybody has been trained and this is to make sure that a good quality education is provided for our pre schoolers,” she said.
As the pre school landscape continued to evolve Mrs. Hodge stressed the importance of a preschool education and encouraged parents to ensure that their children were exposed to the head-start program.  She also called on her colleague educational administrators to take responsibility to ensure that all of the island’s children could access preschool education.
“The present staff under the able supervision of Mrs. Brenda Williams is doing a fantastic job in creating reading and preparing our young children for the world and indeed at the preschool level we must set the foundation for them to climb and climb higher and higher. We want to commend all of you for the tremendous effort that you have placed in the investment of our young children.
 “It is an absolute joy for me to extend to join in the 25th anniversary celebration of the Charlestown Pre-school. The teachers, supervisors, ancillary staff, students, parents-past and present must indeed be proud of their accomplishments over a quarter of a century.  I salute all of you and offer warmest congratulations on behalf of the Ministry and Department of Education, happy silver anniversary Charlestown Pre School,” Mrs. Hodge said.

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