Education Must Be The Driving Force – Henry-Wilson


Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson has emphasised that the education system has to be the driving force to move the country forward.
“Many good things have happen in education, but we need to go a little faster because the world is going much faster and therefore, the education system has to be the underpinning to the change that our society makes,” she said.
The Minister was addressing a roundtable with stakeholders in the Education sector, including principals and education officers, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston yesterday (February 27).
She stressed that the country needed to move at a quicker pace to be on par or ahead of other countries. “It is not a question of catching up, it is a question of surpassing. We have to surpass our competitors,” she declared.
The Minister noted that some aspects of the education system were not as efficient or as competitive, and it was the vision of the Ministry to improve on these areas.
She explained that one of the fundamental challenges was to improve on the things that the sector has accomplished, in order to move ahead. “More fundamentally from our point of view as an administration, the world around has changed phenomenally and the education that we offer has to bear in mind, not just where we are but where we need to go,” the Minister said.
“If we walk one step at a time, we won’t get there. We may be doing a lot of good things but we have to do them better; we have to do them more efficiently and we have to do them differently. The way in which we do them now may have been fine five years ago; they might even have been fine a year ago, but it is almost like making a great leap forward and making that great leap forward, you probably can’t travel by the same transportation or roads,” she said.
Addressing a concern that the sector needed more monetary injection, Mrs. Henry-Wilson said: “It is not about how much more money the system will have, but it is about how much energy and how much innovation we are going to be able to introduce in the system”.
The roundtable was the fourth in a series of eight, which the Ministry has embarked on, and these sessions will inform the Prime Minister’s Education Task Force, as that group undertakes a thorough review of the education system to enable changes to be effected as early as September this year.

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