Minister in the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, and Principal of the Maria Holder Nursery School in Oldbury, St. Philip, Sharon Knight, cutting the ribbon for the unveiling of the Coral Buddies mural. (GP)

Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, is calling for the blue economy to be included on the teaching agenda.

Mr. Humphrey made this call during the unveiling of the Coral Buddies mural at the Maria Holder Nursery School in Oldbury, St. Philip, today.

The 51”x7.5” mural was done through a partnership between the Ministry and the BlueGreen Initiative Inc., and is based on the book My Coral Buddies and Me, which was written by Shakirah Bourne.

Noting that integrating the blue economy in education was important, the Minister said his Ministry had already starting having the necessary conversations with the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training.

“We started having the conversations – how do we teach about the blue economy in a way that people can receive it; in a way that they can understand it, and in a way that they practise most principles,” he quipped.

Mr. Humphrey explained that most people saw the blue economy as something about “banning things” rather than about the sustainability that was needed in order to preserve it for future generations.

He stressed that the conversation on climate change was real, and the climate could not continue to survive the “reckless” actions of man.

Making reference to the mural, Mr. Humphrey said such work was important, and it was critical that the education process started at a very young age.

Minister in the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, Permanent Secretary, Sonia Foster; and Co-founder of the BlueGreen Initiative, Senator Crystal Drakes, displaying the book: My Coral Buddies and Me – Cricket Calamity. (GP)

“This is going to be the transformation that we want. The benefits will manifest later on in life. We will continue to work together to bring about positive change,” he added.

The Maria Holder Nursery School at Oldbury is the third school to receive a mural through the project. The other schools to receive similar murals are the Blackman and Gollop and Bay Primary Schools.

Co-founder of the BlueGreen Initiative, Senator Crystal Drakes, explained that the mural was the brainchild of Early Childhood Coordinator, Caisha Greaves, who turned the book into a play for students at the school, with support from Principal Sharon Knight. “Now the blue economy is becoming a part of the teaching experience,” she said.

The book, My Coral Buddies and Me – Cricket Calamity, tells the story of five coral buddies playing a game of underwater cricket when disaster strikes, threatening their home and habitat.

The eBook version and other related project material may be downloaded for free via the website www.coralbuddies.com.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Sonia Foster; Senior Administrative Officer, Lynn Culpepper, school officials and other representatives from the BlueGreen Initiative were also present for the event.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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