|Children from the Hillaby Turner’s Hall Primary School performing for the opening of Education Month, today at the Wesleyan Holiness Church, Tudor Bridge, St. Michael. (A.Miller/BGIS)|
Education is more than just being certified!
This was the underlying message sent by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones to students who, along with their teachers, attended the service at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church, Tudor Bridge, to mark the start of Education Month 2011.
"It is extremely important to be well certificated in knowledge and skills, but it is also imperative that social, emotional, spiritual and psychological attributes are fully developed if an individual is to be described as ???educated’," Mr. Jones said, as students were told that in a very general sense, education had always referred to the all-round development of a person’s character.
Stressing that in today’s world this wider sense of education was becoming more meaningful, he urged those gathered to consider the theme for Education Month – Overcoming Educational Challenges in the Twenty-first Century.
"Education is manifesting its presence in the ability to be creative, the tenacity to be resilient, the spirit to coexist, the art to solve problems, the urge to acquire further knowledge, the economic awareness to be thrifty, and the patience to resolve conflict, along with certification of knowledge and skills," Mr. Jones added.
While he noted that the economic situation across the world called for creativity and was propelling entrepreneurship, he stated: "More and more, economies are proving to be incapable of providing meaningful employment for all persons.?? One of the economic challenges of our generation is, therefore, to equip students with the necessary requisites to support their own well-being. More effort will be needed to stick to the task of success as challenges of funding, and opportunities to progress seem to dwindle, while quick but deviant practices of advancement appear to be worthwhile.?? Your inner strength, fostered by a good education, will help you to resist these wanton activities and strive hard to be upright citizens of your country and the world."
|Full attendance by students and teachers for the opening of Education??Month,??today at the Wesleyan Holiness Church, Tudor Bridge, St. Michael.?? (A.Miller/BGIS)??|
Minister Jones also maintained that the process of education had to produce individuals who could live together and respect the ideas and customs of each other. "In the current century, people from several ethnic, cultural, [and] religious backgrounds share common space.?? Our students must be taught to maintain their personal ideals and respect those of others since stereotyping is giving way to individualism," he said.
It was stressed that problem-solving must be one of the vital characteristics of the 21st century individual as problems of all kinds were facing the world with solutions not often prescribed. "… but they are rather found in the ability to think critically, analyse, prioritise and organise. Teaching and learning institutions will have, therefore, to devise methods and strategies for learners to experience situations to foster these important life skills," he observed.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of the Wesleyan Holiness Church in Barbados, Rev. Anthony Worrell, told the students that education was "preparation for life" and they had "to be able to conquer the hard things faced in trying to prepare for life". As he pointed out that there were challenges to education, our values and way of life, he listed among these the constant call for change in teaching style; the structure of family and parenting; information technology; the complex character of life that included violence, bullying and terrorism and the "Christ-less content in our life" where church attendance was on the decline and not a regular part of daily activity".
Proffering solutions to these challenges, he urged that the teachings of Romans, Chapter 30 be followed.?? He said: "Show respect, love and care for each other." Echoing the sentiments of the Education Minister, Rev. Worrell expressed the view that neglect of spiritual values was the cause of so much struggle in our society today. "If we are to have a rounded education, we must also cater to and consider very seriously the spiritual aspect of each of us and our education cannot be rounded if we leave out the spiritual part of us," Rev. Worrell underlined.