Spending On Educational Sector Must Be Justified

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Prime Minister, David Thompson??

Government cannot continue to spend half a billion dollars per annum on an educational system that "produces people with a myopic world view and an employee mindset which impels them to get more and more qualifications just to find a job".

This warning was given by Prime Minister David Thompson yesterday, as he delivered the feature address at the launch of the Cave Hill School of Business Alumni Network at the 3W’s Oval, Cave Hill Campus.

Mr. Thompson stressed that Barbados could not continue to build an economy based on importing more than 70 percent of what its people consumed.

"What Barbados needs now more than ever before is an army of managers and leaders who can spot niches in the market and gather resources to capitalise on them. What we also need are more entrepreneurs capable of creating employment and wealth," he opined.

During his address, the Prime Minister also mentioned the establishment of the Student Entrepreneurship Empowerment Development Project. He said that it should expose every university student to an educational environment in which they could explore entrepreneurial ideas and acquire the relevant knowledge and skills to consider self-employment as a serious career option.??

Mr. Thompson noted, however, that he considered the Cave Hill School of Business as the "apex and driving force behind the emerging entrepreneurship culture in Barbados".

He added: "I believe that the Cave Hill School of Business must consider itself the driving force of our efforts at economic enfranchisement. ??As such, it is expected to produce not only the required leaders, but also create the conditions for them to collaborate and share information on an on-going basis."

The Prime Minister advised the graduates attending the launch that they must be willing to give something back to their business school, university, country and region.

"So what is required of you is your time and your expertise to build and help to spread a culture of enterprise. You are all operating at the cutting edge of the production and distribution of goods and services in our region.

"As members of an indigenous institution, you therefore have an absolute advantage over your foreign competitors. Share this knowledge and these skills and help us to respond with a bigger punch in the global marketplace," he stated.

Mr. Thompson said he was convinced that the training of students drawn from throughout the CARICOM countries and the ongoing support to graduates from the University of the West Indies through the Network, would do more for the equitable development of countries within CARICOM than anything he could think of.

"I believe that the unending migration and drainage of human resources from any country can have a debilitating effect on that country’s economy.

"Uneven development is in the best interest of no member state of CARICOM. It is far better for sustainable development to be taking place simultaneously in every country based on the comparative advantages they enjoy," the Prime Minister concluded.

gapplehaite@barbados.gov.bb

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