Statement of Commitment following the Forty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) Education, Ministerial Round Table Discussion, 13 October, 2022, CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana
Cognizant of the serious impact of the of COVID 19 on education delivery and the lives of learners, teachers, and communities and the need for a new investment in education through a regional coordination of resources to support education financing.
Recognizing that the COHSOD is the organ responsible for the promotion of human and social development in the Community and as such is charged with the responsibility of accelerating human capital development through the “efficient organization of education training facilities in the Community, including elementary and advanced vocational training and technical facilities.”
Appreciating the urgent need to address matters impacting the progress of the implementation of the CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy in the region.
Also appreciating the need to re-examine the role of Ministries of Education in creating and sustaining the conditions needed for schools, principals, and teachers to serve as the essential service actors in a system where every child must realise their full potential.
Further appreciating the need to articulate the practical means through which regional, systemic, and local actions can be refocused to ensure that gaps in the learning trajectory created by school closures will be addressed, and in the process, mitigate against reductions in national productivity and individual earning power over the next three to five years.
Also recognising that we cannot continue as we have been doing over the past few years.
Further recognizing the need for an ambitious reform agenda, reprioritizing the implementation of the CARICOM-HRD 2030 Strategy given ongoing demands for education system resilience and agility to respond to the provision of equitable access to quality education in times of crisis to drive the social and economic wellbeing of society.
Understanding that the world changes at a rapid pace and so what we teach and learn and how we teach and learn must constantly evolve. Curriculum instruction and assessment must be designed to promote deep learning to focus on what students are able to do with the knowledge that they acquire and the extent to which they are able to think critically to solve problems in a healthy, productive, and sustainable manner.
Also understanding the need for a global and multi-dimensional approach to student support services for educational innovation to ensure that the emerging generations are given the best possibilities.
We the Ministers of Education, participating in the Forty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development convened under the theme “Education as and for Resilience”:
- Commit to rethinking education and what it should accomplish to enable students to exit schools with confidence as Caribbean citizens who are participants and power brokers.
- Commit to an increased engagement with teachers, parents, and other stakeholders as partners in educational delivery to mainstream the value of education to the wellbeing of the whole person, allowing children and youth to pursue their passions.
- Commit to the delivery of a more holistic education, through the expansion and currency of TVET education; increasing focus on the visual and performing arts, to increase multiple pathways to qualifications and aggressively bring the region into economic prosperity. This requires increased financing for TVET training to bolster the sector.
- Commit to shifting the focus of education from content to competencies to greater align education with what we want for national and regional economic development objectives.
- Commit to ‘accelerating’ learning but ‘decelerating’ where appropriate to connect our children to purposeful learning and livelihoods, increasing educational engagement and challenging for high expectations.
- Commit to providing the professional development to shift from teaching to tests to teaching to standards. Providing the support needed to enhance practices of school leadership and leading for learning for educational sustainability.
- Commit to providing the enabling environment in schools to allow young people to start their own businesses to bridge the gap between education and the emerging jobs in the society. This approach requires us to rethink what happens in the classroom, with children and youth, to ensure that students are active in decision making, stay engaged and feel that they are a part of society and can make a meaningful contribution to the society.
- Commit to the use of research to drive innovative practice and policy in education for comprehensive monitoring and evaluation and sustainable educational impact.
 RTC 2001- Articles 17 and 27
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