The Role and Function of the Ministry, Departments and Boards
The Ministry of Education is the Government entity responsible for the management, administration and a provider of quality educational initiatives in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Ministry of Education plays a major role in the sustainable growth and development of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Education system in the Turks and Caicos Islands is govern by the Education Ordinance (currently under review). The Education Ordinance is the legal instrument that gives recognition to three stages of public education – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. However, provision is made for pre-primary, special, adult technical and vocational, and health and family life education.
The Ministry of Education is headquartered in Grand Turk and oversees five Departments and three Boards, which help to carry out the Government’s mandate on Education.
The Department of Education, under the leadership of the Director of Education is the unit directly responsible for the daily management of education (pre-primary, primary and secondary) including the supervision of public and private schools, student and school registration, advising schools on administrative and education issues, and curriculum review and development, among other core functions. The Director is supported by a number of Education Officers who assume responsibility for the different areas in education. A number of them are multi-functional as is often the case in small jurisdictions. Administrative, secretarial and clerical staff complement the team.
There are fourteen public schools in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Ten are primary schools and four secondary schools. The primary programme caters to the first eight years of a child’s school life. The secondary programme caters to the last five years of the child’s compulsory school life.
The Department of Youth Affairs, under the leadership of the Director of Youth Affairs is responsible for facilitation and integration of youth programmes and issues across the country. The Department of Youth Affairs is guided by the Strategic Plan for Youth Work in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Strategic Plan gives considerable focus to a Strategic Human Resource Plan, incorporating the redefined roles that Youth Workers are to assume – “to facilitate the personal, social, and educational development of young people and to empower them to explore their optimum potentials and to play an assertive and constructive role in the regeneration of their communities, and ultimately the development of their countries.” This Department integrates youth issues across key sectors such as tourism, offshore financial services, agriculture, health, poverty reduction, and education, among others. The Department is supported by the Caribbean Youth Programme
In January 2013 cabinet passed the first National youth Policy, which will guide the development of future programs within the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Director is supported by three Youth Officers, and a Secretary completes the team.