The Ministry of Education has advanced its plans to introduce Saint Lucia’s indigenous language in public schools.
That’s according to a report from the Prime Minister’s Office. Prime Minister Philip J Pierre recently intimidated his desire to do the abovementioned and over the past 12 months, his administration has been working on bringing the plan to fruition.
Pierre, last week, reminded Saint Lucians of his intention at the inaugural Dance and Drum J’ouvert Spectacle, an event which formed part of official commemorative activities for Emancipation Day.
“The events this year are more than just a long overdue commemoration of Emancipation Day, they are the enkindling of a movement for the comprehensive education of our people in their history and cultural heritage, so that this knowledge can inspire their values and aspirations and underpin their path to development,” Pierre said.
“As I have said before, this means that this government will embark on initiatives to teach our Saint Lucian children African history in our schools. We will introduce the teaching of our Kwéyòl language in the education system and enact legislation to make Kwéyòl an official language of our country,” he added.
Educators, last year, commenced work on a policy document geared towards teaching Kwéyòl in schools.
Ministry of Education officials say the National Language Policy is a document which looks at the role of Kwéyòl in education. The programme is specifically directed for the primary and secondary levels to ensure that students at those levels are competent in reading, writing, and speaking the Kwéyòl language, as they are in English.
Based on research, officials are expecting that students’ literacy levels will improve “since they will be able to transfer the skills developed in the first language to other languages that they will learn.”
The Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, last year, held a National Language Policy Implementation Planning Conference through the Curriculum and Materials Development Unit (CAMDU).
The online forum, which brought together professionals from across the region, sought to get an idea of best practices and the considerations for putting an implementation plan together “to ensure that Kwéyòl gets the recognition it deserves.”
Curriculum Officer for English Language with CAMDU, Angel Caglin said the discussion will help formulate that strategy.