The Ministry of Education has advanced its plans to introduce the native language of Saint Lucia in public schools.
This is according to a report from the Prime Minister’s Office. Prime Minister Philip J Pierre has intimidated his desire to do the above recently and over the past 12 months his administration has been working to bring the plan to fruition.
Pierre last week reminded Saint Lucians of his intention during the inaugural J’ouvert dance and drum performance, an event that was part of official Emancipation Day commemorative activities.
“This year’s events are more than just a long-awaited commemoration of Emancipation Day, they are igniting 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,” said Pierre.
Sponsored | The article continues below
“As I have said before, this means that this government will embark on initiatives to teach African history to our Saint Lucian children in our schools. We will introduce the teaching of our Kweyòl language into the education system and enact legislation to make Kweyòl an official language of our country,” he added.
Educators last year began working on a policy document geared towards teaching Kwéyòl in schools.
Ministry of Education officials say the National Language Policy is a document that examines the role of Kweyòl in education. The program is specifically aimed at primary and secondary levels to ensure that students at these levels are proficient in reading, writing and speaking the Kweyòl language, as they are in English.
Based on research, officials expect students’ literacy levels to improve “as they will be able to transfer the skills developed in the first language to other languages they learn” .
Last year, the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training organized a national language policy implementation planning conference by through the Curriculum and Material Development Unit (CAMDU).
The online forum, which brought together professionals from across the region, sought to gain insight into best practices and considerations to develop an implementation plan “to ensure Kwéyòl gets the recognition it deserves”. .
Angel Caglin, English Language Studies Program Manager at CAMDU, said the discussion will help shape this strategy.