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Ensuring the future of the nation

Education is the cornerstone of a nation’s growth and prosperity. It shapes the minds of the young and prepares them to become the leaders, innovators, and responsible citizens of tomorrow.

Recognising the monumental impact that education has on societal progress, Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon has embarked on a groundbreaking journey to upgrade and restructure all primary and secondary schools under his authority.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese is responsible for 118 primary schools and there are 21 Catholic secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago. In some villages, the Catholic school is the only one serving the people. There are 31 such schools. Catholic schools provide service in socially and economically challenged neighbourhoods, bearing witness to the Church’s “preferential option for the poor”. Analysis of the 2005 Survey of Living conditions revealed that approximately 50 per cent of RC schools are situated within the poorest Regional Corporations and so are more likely to serve students who fall into the lower socio-economic status group.

Catholic schools are open to all students, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. In March 2016, a total of 28,166 students attend Catholic public schools of which 11,362 are Catholic, approximately 40 per cent. Today the student population numbers over 35,000 who are under our care.

The Archbishop’s vision is a transformative one, as we reimagine the very essence of our educational system. By integrating cutting-edge technology, modern pedagogical methods, individual testing, and inclusive curricula, we are laying down the foundation for an educational renaissance that will echo through generations.

This ambitious initiative represents a revolutionary leap into the 21st century, aiming to significantly raise the standard of education and ensure our students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Several fundamental changes have already begun, particularly at the primary school level with the implementation of the Quality Assurance Programme. This programme ensures quality teaching professionals; effective leadership; a holistic learning experience; a strong home, school, church, community partnership; and resources and support systems to sustain improvement.

The impact of this initiative will be profound and far-reaching. Students will emerge from our schools not just as test-takers, but as critical thinkers, problem solvers, and lifelong learners.

They will be better prepared for higher education, be more competitive in the job market, and more adept at navigating the complexities of a global society.

To make this vision a reality, we need the support of our entire community. We are calling on individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organisations to join us in this transformative effort.

Your monetary support will assist us in our current initiatives including:

  • Strengthening of leadership at the school level by harnessing experienced community leaders to assist principals in planning and execution
  • Mathematics teaching for empowerment and enjoyment
  • Leading for literacy programme
  • Implementation of the practice of Christian meditation in all schools
  • Differentiated learning across the curriculum
  • Homework centres for students without support at home

Your contribution, no matter the size, will have a lasting impact on the lives of our students and the future of our nation.

Check our ‘Ways to Give’ in this week’s edition of The Catholic News or scan the QR code directly to our site. Choose your contribution level and complete the donation process or watch for envelopes distributed throughout all parishes.

The entire weekend collection for Ascension weekend (May 12) goes toward ensuring the future of our nation.