OECS official expresses support for CARICOM HRD Strategy

Head of the Human and Social Development Cluster at the OECS Mr. Marcellus Albertin has expressed the support of the OECS Commission for the development of  the CARICOM HRD strategy. He was bringing opening remarks at a CARICOM HRD Consultation with OECS Member States in St.Lucia on Monday.

We see this process as important as the final document that will come out of it.  It is an opportunity to reflect on what we are doing in education in the OECS and in the wider CARICOM region.  Importantly, it provides an opportunity to contribute to making education a better product in the future; to create a framework for building an HR base that will accelerate the development of our region; to make us more competitive and more resilient to all shocks — man-made and natural.

Check out the above video clip for more of what Mr. Albertin had to say in relation to how the education system will need to evolve.

Mr Albertin said the development of the Regional Strategy was a daunting undertaking. He said there were many moving pieces in the education system that needed to be fixed even while they move. He said additionally that there were also many unknowns. He invited participants to imagine the difficulty addressing what is not even known and try to ascertain the kind of skills that would be required five or ten  years from now. Technology was another area that he recognized as evolving and that would need to be taken into consideration. He also noted that there were many stakeholders in the process such as learners, parents, teachers, employers who needed to be considered.

What is more, we need to get all these done now! Not next year or next two years. I dare say  in view of the rapid changes in society, the economy and technology, we are likely to find that many aspects of this strategy will be irrelevant by the time it is completed.

He said the enormity of the task however, should not be a deterrent since the development of the Region’s people was a prime priority. He encouraged everyone to give of their best efforts and resources to achieve this. He said there would need to be new approaches and policy directions in education that would constitute the Regional HRD Strategy.

The consultations are being held across  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  Permanent Secretaries, Chief Education Officers and other officials not only from Saint Lucia, but other member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). 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.

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