(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Chairman of the Council on Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Suriname, the Hon. Lilian Ferrier, said that the implementation of the CARICOM Human Resource Development Strategy will focus on issues that have been raised by youth, parents and communities of the Region in a 2010 Report of the Commission on Youth Development. She was giving an address at the opening ceremony of the Thirty-Fourth COHSOD at the Theatre Guild Playhouse in Georgetown, Guyana.
She said the HRD Strategy addressed the attrition of students, resulting in part from inadequate attention to the specific learning and contextual needs of some students and pointed to the use of outdated pedagogies for the generation of millennials for whom technology was second nature.
She noted further that the CARICOM Strategic Plan would also provide a framework for the discussions resilience and development, which were reflected in the theme of COHSOD 34. According to her, the spotlight on resilience provided an opportunity to view HRD as an enabler of resilience which, in this context, referred to the ability to recover from setbacks as well as being able to advance with confidence.
“This is particularly important for our youth who lacked the relevant opportunities, or who may not have excelled at the point prescribed by the system, to be afforded further opportunities to achieve their dreams and aspirations. The seamless education system articulated in the Strategy is well suited to address these challenges”, she said.
Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of Guyana, the Hon. Nicolette Henry, who also spoke at the event said the Government of Guyana was pleased to participate in the meeting because access to quality education was the right of every child. While acknowledging the scarcity of resources, she pointed out that education and health should remain a priority for Regional Governments.
She said her government recognised that quality education was not only about access to education, but required a reorientation of the education system to provide knowledge skills and attitudes that responded to national and global needs and expectations.
She thanked CARICOM for organising this meeting which she said would continue the important work the Region needed to do to consolidate its agenda on human development.
“An educated nation is a cross-cutting endeavour. When our nations are educated in all aspects of life – academically, economically and socially – then our citizens will be able to create a society that is powerful and confident in its existence”, she said.
Over the next two days, the COHSOD Meeting will focus on continuing to forge a way forward for the implementation of the CARICOM Human Resources Development (HRD) 2030 Strategy which was approved by the CARICOM Heads of Government in July 2017.
Photo caption: Chairman of the Council on Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Suriname, the Hon. Lilian Ferrier speaking at the opening ceremony of the Thirty-Fourth COHSOD at the Theatre Guild Playhouse in Georgetown, Guyana.