Education Ministry unveils detailed hundred-day plan

Ministry of Education has unveiled its road map for the first hundred days of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration, joining many other ministries and government institutions.

The nineteen-point plan was announced at a ceremony held at Sultan Park yesterday.

The four priority objectives of the plan are: introducing Quran as a subject for grades 1 – 7 in in all schools within the 2014 academic year, introducing civic education, giving an allowance equivalent to salary for professional staff who take leave for further training, and providing opportunities for students in Male’ to train in six different areas from ‘Maldives Polytechnic” – the Ministry’s training institute for technical and vocational education.

Among other objectives, the ministry has planned to set professional standards for teachers and assign health assistants for schools through island health centers and provide counseling at schools.

The ministry also plans to establish Special Education units in five schools, and two dedicated regional Special Education centers. A child protection policy is also set to be passed within the first hundred days.

According to the Ministry, the government will choose two islands to establish Arabic medium schools within 100 days.

Plans to provide higher education and training opportunities include a campaign to familiarize students with training and career opportunities. In addition to this, the government will be signing agreements with five companies to provide apprenticeship programs and will seek local and overseas higher education opportunities for students with minimum three A Level passes.

Regional campuses of Maldives Polytechnic will be established and a scheme for introducing ‘economically beneficial’ foreign languages will also be designed within this period.

Sociology is planned to be taught in a selected number of schools and a special program to make students more aware of Dhivehi language and culture will also be introduced.

As part of this plan the ministry is seeking to assign Quran teachers for all Schools before the academic year 2014. The ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Abdul Muhsin Mohamed said that the ministry is still short of 26 Quran teachers to achieve this this objective.

According to Muhsin the ministry will find teachers for other subjects as well within this period. He said priority will be given to local teachers even though a number of foreign treachers are on stand by to fill in for approximately three hundred vacant posts.