Caribbean Community Education Ministers were reminded of Education’s critical role in the post COVID-19 economic recovery, as the 25th Special Meeting of CARICOM’s Council for Human and Social and Development (COHSOD) opened Tuesday.
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, remined the Meeting that there is no economic recovery and resilience without an education system designed to strengthen workforce capacity and innovation, and stressed:
“We need a regional system that is responsive, technologically enabled, and geared towards nurturing the skills and dispositions needed to reshape and advance the society.”
He noted that the health emergency is threatening the progress made in the implementation of the CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy which was designed to create that workforce.
Ambassador Larocque indicated that the CARICOM Secretariat has been collaborating with Member States and Development Partners to coordinate a range of activities to support the new focus on technology-enabled instruction and social and emotional skills. These include webinars to guide practices to support teaching remotely, learning in a pandemic, assessing learning, providing social and emotional care for students and teachers and a safe transition back to school. There was also the publication of a Regional Framework for the Reopening of Schools in the Caribbean, including Schools for Learners with Special Education Needs, and Guidelines for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Instructions, and Implementation of Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs) in the Caribbean during COVID-19.
Tuesday’s meeting was expected to examine the imperatives of human development post COVID-19 in the Caribbean, and the development of digital skills in the changing skills landscape. The Caribbean Examinations Council was also scheduled to address the meeting on managing Regional Examinations for integrity and agility. Member States were also expected to share their experiences and best practices in the new environment.