Nine principals recently became the second cohort from the Virgin Islands to complete the Effective Principals Licensure Programme in partnership with the National College of Educational Leadership in Jamaica on Dec. 10, bringing the total number of VI candidates to 29, according to Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Dr. Natalio Wheatley.

The VI’s partnership with the NCEL began in August 2014, when the ministry signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the programme, Dr. Wheatley said during the Dec. 19 meeting of the House of Assembly.

“In addition to keeping abreast of the latest developments in school leadership, the programme is designed to sensitise and prepare persons for the dynamic role of school leadership in a modern society by using a competency-based approach, which focuses on the laws and regulations that govern the education sector,” he explained.

The minister also recalled remarks from NCEL director Dr. Taneisha Ingleton that he said praised the partnership with the VI because the territory “is serious about its approach to school leadership in such a way that Virgin Islands principals are going to take over the Caribbean.”

UNESCO meeting

At the same HOA meeting, Dr. Wheatley announced that he spoke at UNESCO’s 40th session of the General Conference, which he attended between Nov. 12-19 in Paris to discuss global issues of education, culture and science.

During his time there, he said, he tried to “bring attention to the plight of small island developing states such as the BVI, and to update UNESCO on our progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as to implore the organisation to prioritise areas of importance to the BVI.”

In an address to the General Assembly, he said, he described the VI’s aspirations for education in special, technical, vocational and early childhood areas.

He also asked UNESCO to provide technical assistance for a comprehensive teacher review, teacher education and data management, he said.

“The seeds planted at this general conference will yield fruit as early as 2020 with our activity in regards to a comprehensive review and teacher training, among other things,” he added.