Posted On: Tuesday, 29 May 2012
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Basseterre, St. Kitts, (Tuesday 29th May, 2012)-The recently concluded 22nd Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Ministers of Education Meeting, which focused on providing quality education to children of our region, was deemed one of the most successful meetings hosted.
Marcellus Albertin, Head of the OECS Education Reform Unit in St. Lucia, highlighted critical elements of the May 23-24 discussion.
“We achieved our objectives, which essentially was to provide an opportunity for Ministers of Education to dialogue on policy issues and to decide on matters affecting education in terms of how we go forward [tackling] the key issues affecting education in the region,” said Mr. Albertin.
“Another achieved objective was the provision of opportunities for developing partners such as CDB, World Bank and UNICEF to indicate areas of cooperation and areas in which they would want to support the education system.”
He further stated that another feature of success was the level of discussion and participation of the Ministers. He believed that the issues presented pertained to the entire member states and the discussions of such issues would have helped them move forward.
It was agreed by Ministers of Education that the most important thing that came out of the meeting was the agreement of a regional strategy for education over the next ten years.
“We went through a process of doing a complete analysis of the education system looking at what are the achievements and challenges. We also looked at the current economic environment, the challenges for growth and development that our countries face, the issues of youth and the fact that a number of them are dropping out of our school system and the fact that a number of them are graduating and not able to find jobs, Mr. Albertin noted.
Understanding all these issues, Ministers provided responses in the form of a Regional Strategy in Education to address such matters and to make education more responsive to the concerns and challenges that are being faced.
St. Kitts and Nevis' Minister of Education and Information, Nigel Carty, also spoke on the success of the meeting.
“One of the main objectives was to agree on the strategy going forward for education within the OECS,” Minister Carty noted. “We were presented with the basic strategic document draft and went through that plan, identified the areas of priority, and agreed upon them. We had the support of the donor agencies and development partners. Those having been accomplished in addition to others [I can say] we have had a very successful meeting.”
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