The underachievement of boys in education was one of the issues discussed, when Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Deodat Maharaj, paid a courtesy call recently on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean.
Mr. Maharaj disclosed that his organisation conducted a study and developed strategies to address underachievement in boys in education in Jamaica and St. Lucia through its Advancing the Education of Boys initiative, and was now willing to offer the same technical assistance to Barbados.
The Director-General stressed the importance of using appropriate strategies, describing the underachievement of boys as ???not only a development issue but a national security issue???.
In response, Senator McClean noted that much of the island???s prison population comprised males who did not complete secondary education, and supported the idea, agreeing that ???policy should be informed by empirical evidence???.
She also stated that with nearly two-thirds of the student population at the University of the West Indies??? Cave Hill Campus being female, Government would be seeking to target more males by expanding the University???s offerings to include more technical and vocational programmes in areas such as Agriculture and Renewable Energy.
Mr. Maharaj, who was in Barbados to attend the Commonwealth Conference on Finance for Development in Small States, also expressed his agency???s interest in providing Barbados with free technical expertise in the areas of universal health coverage, the development of a Green Economy, as well as the development of a comprehensive Ocean Governance Policy.