MP Bob Seely has asked the Government to consider how education could be better delivered following the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a debate requested by the Island’s MP, Mr Seely acknowledged that it had been a difficult year for children and their educators and said that while it would take years to repair the damaging aspects of Covid-19 on children and young people, there was an opportunity for radical change.
He asked Education Minister, Nick Gibb, to consider whether a change in term times could enable more consistent learning, how the use of technology could enhance future learning and how the Government could work in a more integrated and coherent way.
He also questioned whether the school year could start and end at different times with exams being held in March or April when children are less distracted by summertime activities.
The Island’s MP asked the Minister to work with him to look at how Islanders could access degree level courses on the Island. He said the development of a higher education campus on the Island could help to keep young people on the Island.
Speaking after the debate he said: “Teachers, support staff and parents have worked so hard this past year to keep children learning as best they can I can’t thank them enough for their hard work in these very challenging times.
“Now is a good time to review what works in our education system and what doesn’t. Our young people will be integral in building a better future for our country, so we need to equip them now with all the skills they are going to need.
“I am concerned about the effect long holidays can have on learning. Shorter terms with shorter, more frequent, holidays could be a better approach and result in more consistent learning.
“I also want to see the Government making faster progress on getting more technology into schools, homes and businesses. I believe every child should have a tablet or laptop for the duration of their schooling, in the same way that they would have had a pencil and notebook 50 years ago.
“I want us to think about making changes now, not in a few years’ time when the rest of the world is several steps ahead of us. These are the questions I am putting to the Government to get them thinking about how we can make improvements to our education system for the benefit of our young people.”