Time to refocus education system, says PM
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has expressed a desire to see more culturally based enterprises become accepted areas of employment for young people.
“Cultural enterprises and cultural entrepreneurship must become nationally accepted employment endeavours, so that our school children aspire to develop viable careers in the creative cultural industries. This would widen the net of economic participation in the economy and boost employability.”
The Prime Minister delivered the feature address at an awards ceremony on Saturday hosted by the Ministry of Labour to recognize organizations that performed above par in the Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDS) program funded by the European Union (EU).
He said the challenges confronting the education system were not so much the access or quality of education students were receiving but rather the relevance of the education in relation to the needs of the regional and global market.
“So a building of a competency based society while accommodating skills in traditional technical and vocational areas … now also must include the creative industries, the green economy and the ever-evolving information and communication technologies employability."
The HRDS program which ran from 2011 to 2016, delivered $109 million dollars to the government of Barbados to assist in the alleviating poverty, increasing competiveness and sustainable growth and was given high praise by the EU representative, Marc Thill, who commended the government for meeting all of the performance targets and thereby receiving all of the grant funding.
Stuart said the government has proposed to establish a National Career Planning and Counselling Unit with the Ministry of Education which is set to enhance the capabilities of career guidance counselors in indentifying career options for students which are in line with the needs of the economy.