Chief Education Officer, Laurie King. (FP)

Home Economics must be treated as a foundation course in the curriculum of schools since it is designed to enable students to develop knowledge, attitudes and skills to manage available resources with the view of attaining family goals.

This was stressed yesterday by Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, as he delivered remarks at the official opening of the 20th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Association of Home Economists Inc. (CAHE) at the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

"This discipline will provide students with a range of management capabilities and practical skills to assist them in leading more effective lives as individuals and as members of society," Mr. King said, adding that children needed standards and values if they were to be successful adults and demonstrate social and moral responsibility as well as acceptable social and cultural practices in diverse situations.

Explaining where the subject stood in Education, he said: "Home Economics or Home Management is the one discipline that has these tenets as core objectives. It is a critical member of the technical [and] vocational education family, and advocacy around the need to mitigate and adopt practices to promote sustainable development has increased recognition of the importance of TVET training and the need to stimulate the development of ethical values and practices among learners."

As he congratulated CAHE on its 41st anniversary, Mr. King said it bore testimony to the level of commitment on the part of its members. "When we talk about regional integration and the Caribbean Single Market, here is another outstanding example of a regional institution that has stood the test of time," he added.

Meanwhile, President of CAHE, Audrey Jones-Drayton, dispelling myths on what Home Economics was about, said it had four dimensions. She explained that it addressed the academic disciplines of education, research and innovation; was an arena for everyday living in households, families and communities and for developing human growth potential; and as a curriculum area it allowed students to discover and further develop their own resources and capabilities for use in their personal lives.

In the societal arena, she stressed, it influenced and led to the development of policy and advocated for individuals and families to move towards empowerment, well-being and sustainability.????

The conference is being held under the theme: Home Economics Empowerment: Education for Sustainable Lifestyles and runs from today until Wednesday, April10, at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP). In addition to the professional development of members, the conference puts families at the heart of its deliberations with its sub-themes directly related to each of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Sessions will, therefore, explore critical and sensitive issues affecting families especially the elderly, children and women as they relate to food security and production, gender, violence, decent work and chronic non-communicable diseases.


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