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CARICOM HRD consultations continue with OECS Member States

Posted in: Press Releases | 24 October 2016 | 1721

    National consultations that are expected to help shape the Region’s education and human resources continued in Saint Lucia on Monday. The CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with the Human Resource Development Commission, embarked on these consultations which will be crucial to molding the Region’s youth and future employees.

    The consultations are being held across the CARICOM Member States and are expected to provide insight for the crafting of a second draft of a Regional Education and Human Resource Development Strategy. The consultations on Monday included participation from officials such as Permanent Secretaries and Chief Education Officers not only from Saint Lucia, but also from various Organisation of Eastern Caribbean (OECS) Member States.

    Saint Lucia’s CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Alisha Ally, in welcoming everyone to the consultation, noted that the emphasis on access to quality education was high on the Region’s agenda. She stressed that there needed to be a holistic approach to human resource development. She expressed the view, however, that it seemed a heavy focus on an academic curriculum resulted in what she referred to as a quasi-begrudging acknowledgment that some students function better in a vocational environment.

    “We say we want responsible and patriotic citizens, but is the curriculum making the effort to teach students to be conscious people instead of machines…regurgitating information ad nauseam,” she queried.

    She said the HRD Strategy needed to be aimed at resolving the current shortfalls of the Region’s education system while, at the same time, planning for the future.

    “As developing nations, our more developed counterparts are moving ahead with no concern for whether we are keeping up or lagging behind.  The Human Resource Development Strategy 2030 will be the legacy we leave to upcoming generations.  Let us put our best efforts into shaping it,” she said.

    Remarks were also given by Programme Manager, Educational Development, CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Eduardo Ali, who provided an overview of the purpose of the consultation; Mr. Marcellus Albertin, Head of Education Development Unit and Head of the Human and Social Development Cluster, OECS Commission; as well as Education Sector Specialist and workshop Facilitator, Dr. Nancy George.

    So far, three other consultations have been conducted in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Additional consultations will be done  in Barbados, Belize, The Bahamas and Jamaica.