JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has urged a re-engineering of educational systems of developing countries arguing that some of the specific challenges being faced by these countries stem in part from systems that were crafted within the context of colonialism and designed to maintain the status quo.

Mrs Simpson Miller was speaking at a forum of the Chief Executive Officers Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. The theme of the forum was Education and Development.

Recalling that many educational systems did not empower enough marginalised people Mrs Simpson Miller said, “Going forward, and ensuring equity in the quantity and quality of education delivery, requires the re-engineering of many of our educational systems. It cannot be enough to persist with stratified education systems which institutionalize and preserve social inequality. For this reason in Jamaica we have embarked upon a process of educational transformation which emphasizes the principle of quality education for all."

Mrs Simpson Miller noted that the UNESCO 2008 report highlighted the serious challenges the region had in meeting goals of quality and quantity in the field of educating the region’s populations.

The Prime Minister said that the rate of growth and development is directly related to the quality of educational systems.

She also called for the infusion of values and attitudes into educational programmes saying, “They are crucial for individual creativity, social order and natural cohesion."

For successful engagement, Mrs Simpson Miller also noted that the private sector must be engaged to provide the most relevant and effective educational experience for young learners.

The two other speakers on the forum were the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissassar; and President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla.

Prime Minster Simpson Miller said that each country must share resources and experience wherever it is mutually beneficial.

The CEO summit on education and development preceded the 6th Summit of the Americas which ended yesterday.


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