The GSD Has Done More for Education!

The GSD Has Done More for Education!

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The GSD Has Done More for Education!

It is incredible that Minister Licudi should state that the GSD neglected Gibraltar’s Education System over 16 years. It is not only a slur on Ministers who have dedicated their lives to our education service, such as Bernard Linares or Clive Beltran, but it simply does not bear closer scrutiny. It also exemplifies how this Government is more intent on trashing the GSD’s record than getting on with the job of governing.

So much for the Chief Minister’s statement at election night that his Government would not seek to denigrate the achievements of its predecessor!

In order to set the record straight and not allow the general public to be given a false impression, this is some (not all) of what the GSD has done in developing and evolving our Education System during our 16 years in office:

• The increase of staff by employing 45 extra teachers, 40 classroom aides and 45 Special Educational Needs (SEN) teachers

• Huge investment in SEN with the establishment of the Behavioural Education Support Team (BEST), the introduction of Bayside School’s Alternative Learning Centre (ALC) and further Learning Support Facilities (LSF) among schools. The employment of a Department Advisor specialising in SEN

• Change in school hours to accommodate lunch at school with substantial investments of halls in all schools

• Moving Bishop Fitzgerald and Governor’s Meadow Schools to their present location to cater for the children of new families at Montagu Gardens and New Harbours, that the previous GSLP Government had forgotten about and not planned for

• Extensions to Westside School, St Anne’s School, the Gibraltar College, St Paul’s First School and the Hebrew School. Continued refurbishment programme for all schools of £1.5m per year

• Committing to free University education with an increase in grants and the end to means-testing for parents

• Replacing the old management system with Teaching & Learning Responsibility posts

• Huge investment in IT for all schools

• Employment of Traffic Control personnel to help children cross roads safely to/from schools

• Increased Government nurseries from 2 to 7 and nursery places from 135 to 375, re-employing qualified teachers to offer the service. Tax allowances for those with children in private nurseries

• Development and availability of more vocational courses, adult education courses, apprenticeships and Continuous Professional Development training for Civil Servants, than ever before. The GSD opened the Training Centre after it was closed by the previous GSLP Government

• More funding for, more focused and increased In-Service days for teachers, especially on SEN and management

• Increasing the number of Education advisors in the Department of Education from 1 to 5 and the encouragement of more proactive work with the teachers at the frontline

• The active encouragement in the community of extra-curricular and charity work of schools and their children

• Linking academia with our economy through the Young Enterprise Scheme and inviting visiting speakers and Universities; these tie in with the establishment of the yearly Careers Fair for our students

“How on earth Mr Licudi can suggest the GSD neglected the education system for 16 years will be beyond any reasonable political observer. Then again what can you expect from a party that run an election campaign making promises to all and sundry knowing they would not deliver? The reality is that Mr Licudi’s rubbishing of our record in office says little for his knowledge of how our education system has evolved and perhaps the Minister simply cannot cope with so many portfolios to master this particular brief properly,” said Mrs Ellul-Hammond, Opposition Education Spokesperson.

“This knee-jerk reaction by Mr Licudi is typical of this Government’s almost pathological need to put down, whatever the cost, everything and anything the GSD ever accomplished. Mr Licudi is well advised to consult his senior staff at the Department of Education before jumping into another minefield with either ignorant comments, or non-truths, that only serves to highlight this Government’s inability to govern other than through propaganda, propaganda, propaganda.”

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The GSD Has Done More for Education!

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