Re­gion needs skilled work­ers to com­pete glob­ally, says Granger

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

GGEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC): UYANA’S PRES­I­DENT, David Granger, has warned that the Caribbean can­not com­pete in the global mar­ket if it is un­able to at­tract highly qual­i­fied univer­sity grad­u­ates.

Ad­dress­ing the 13th an­nual con­fer­ence of the Caribbean Area Net­work for Qual­ity As­sur­ance in Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion (CANQATE) on Tues­day night, Granger said that poor per­for­mances at the nurs­ery, pri­mary and sec­ondary lev­els of ed­u­ca­tion are not just a prob­lem for ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions.

He said that it is also a prob­lem for the de­vel­op­ment of a highly skilled and qual­i­fied work­force and called for a qual­ity as­sur­ance ap­proach to ed­u­ca­tional de­liv­ery in the re­gion.

Granger said that the cre­ation of a large pool of highly qual­i­fied grad­u­ates re­quires a strong frame­work of stan­dards of qual­ity as­sur­ance in ed­u­ca­tion from nurs­ery to univer­sity.

“Qual­ity as­sur­ance, at ev­ery tier of the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem, not just at the post sec­ondary and ter­tiary lev­els, will boost the re­gion’s eco­nomic prospects,” he said, warn­ing that the “Caribbean can­not com­pete in the global mar­ket place un­less its economies are pop­u­lated by a suf­fi­cient num­ber of qual­i­fied grad­u­ates from our schools and uni­ver­si­ties”.

Granger said that the qual­ity as­sur­ance in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem re­quires a fresh ap­proach based on a ro­bust in­sti­tu­tional frame­work and vig­or­ous in­ves­ti­ga­tion and in­spec­tion. He said that it is nec­es­sary for stan­dards to be es­tab­lished by which the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tional de­liv­ery and per­for­mance can be mea­sured.

“Ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion in the Caribbean will con­tinue to be over­whelmed with re­me­dial func­tions un­less qual­ity as­sur­ance can be guar­an­teed at the level of the nurs­ery, at the level of the pri­mary and at the level of the sec­ondary schools,” he said.

FREE MOVE­MENT

The Guyana head of state said in­te­gra­tion and ed­u­ca­tion are two vi­tal ve­hi­cles for en­hanc­ing the re­gion’s eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness, par­tic­u­larly in the con­text of the Caribbean Sin­gle Mar­ket and Econ­omy that al­lows for the free move­ment of goods, skills, labour and ser­vices across the re­gion.

CANQATE pres­i­dent Dr Ron­ald Brun­ton said that the con­fer­ence would go a long way to­wards strength­en­ing the Na­tional Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil’s po­si­tion as the le­git­i­mate, recog­nised qual­ity-as­sur­ance agency in Guyana.

The con­fer­ence is be­ing or­gan­ised by the Na­tional Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry with fund­ing from the United Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tional Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Sev­eral coun­tries from the re­gion and the hemi­sphere are par­tic­i­pat­ing this year, in­clud­ing Ja­maica, Canada, St Lu­cia, Bar­ba­dos, Trinidad and Tobago, Suri­name, Gre­nada and St Kitts and Ne­vis.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Pres­i­dent of Guyana David Granger

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