Chairman of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Ambassador the Hon. Burchell Whiteman, says that the ongoing pursuit of knowledge must be a way of life for every Jamaican.
“Lifelong learning is not for the so called disadvantaged or deficient because we all have value and we all have deficiencies. Adult education, lifelong learning needs to be a way of life for all our people, those with the 17 CXC subjects (Caribbean Examination Council) and those who have finished their PH.Ds (Doctor of Philosophy),” he said.
Mr. Whiteman was speaking at the adult learners’ week lecture seminar on Wednesday (Sept. 26) at the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning’s (JFLL) South Camp Road campus in Kingston under the theme: ‘Unlocking the Potential for Progress through Lifelong Learning’.
According to Ambassador Whiteman, lifelong learning not only fosters personal development, but also enhances social inclusion, which he argued, is critical to national development.
In underscoring his point, Mr. Whiteman made reference to a contribution from late former Prime Minister, Michael Manley, in a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report, which states: “the school of today and tomorrow must plant the seeds of caring, so that under classes do not become the victims of an ideology of exclusion. They must nurture the concept of an overarching humanity in which the brilliant, the average and even the disturbed, the Muslim and the Christian…all occupy an equal place in a process of permanent social inclusion.”
In the meantime, Mr. Whiteman commended the JFLL for the work it has been doing over the years, which have led to thousands of Jamaicans becoming literate.
“I want to encourage you to find new ways of engaging learners for their own personal education but, above all, to remember that one of the critical pillars of education is helping people to learn to live together. Together we can succeed, together we can do great things and together we can create the development and the growth and the prosperity which I think this country definitely can achieve and deserves to achieve,” he said.
JFLL began as JAMAL Foundation in 1973, as an agency of the Ministry of Education. It supports the UNESCO goal of basic Education for All by 2015 and the national drive towards the achievement of universal secondary education.
JFLL’s mission is to partner with other organisations to provide adult education programmes, which will establish a culture of lifelong learning that will empower individuals and contribute to national development.
Commonwealth of Learning is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training