By Makeida Antonio
The government has embarked on a mission to foster a culture of research and data-sharing for a second year in a row.
The second annual Research Symposium was held last evening via Zoom, and parents, teachers, academics and business people formed the audience of researchers who presented their findings on various topics and issues of national interest.
The idea was the brainchild of Director of Education, Clare Browne, and longstanding Ministry personnel, Dr Desiree Antonio, who were dismayed at having to postpone the event due to Covid-19 and other factors.
Thankfully, the inaugural Research Symposium was held in 2021 under the theme. ‘Meaningful Research, Enabling, Informing and Creating Positive Change’.
This year’s theme is similar to last year’s which is ‘Plan It, Execute It, Share It’ highlighting the Ministry’s desire to enable local researchers to conduct research and share the results.
Education Officer, Kadian Camacho, explained that gathering data can prove difficult as sources outside of a Caribbean context are often not available.
She underscored why local research must therefore be encouraged and promoted.
Sometimes they get it right, but sometimes we have to admit that the data that they share does not really show the true reality of our situation here, so it is time for us to not just conduct research and file it, but activate it so that it can effect change in our society,” Camacho said on Observer AM yesterday.
Camacho also highlighted that research takes time and serious planning. She listed a few questions that researchers can ask themselves prior to undergoing their studies in the community.
“Research needs proper planning. What information do I actually want to collect? Who will I collect this information from? Who are my sources? What instrument will I use to collect the most valid information from the sources identified?”
The Education Officer mentioned that those interested in the symposium made submissions to the Ministry of Education, and they shared that the information coming out of the study can effect change on both a micro and macro level.
“We’re going to have presentations that are looking at the Grade Four National Assessment and analysing what seems to be the poor performance of students at that level. Students usually do well at the Grade Two National Assessment, but something is happening that leads to a less admirable performance at the Grade Four National Assessment,” Camacho added while promoting the event.
She hoped that policymakers within the Ministry would join the session in a presentation to understand or identify any other policies that need to be implemented so that the performance of Grade Four students can be improved.