Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones. (FP)

A snapshot of Barbados’ progress with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 4, was given today by Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones.

He shared this with participants at the official opening of the CBD/UNESCO Regional Technical Workshop on the Implications of the SDG 4 for Education Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation, at Accra Beach Hotel.

Acknowledging that a lot was already occurring in the region with respect to SDG 4, which calls on countries to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, he said Barbados was continuing to achieve success.

He noted there was free access for all to education at primary and secondary levels, both in the public and private sector; his Ministry was looking to satisfy the demand for early childhood education by 2018/2019.  Technical, vocational and tertiary education was being worked out and quality infrastructure was being addressed.

In respect of Goal 4c, which looks at increasing the supply of qualified teachers, the Education Minister said: “Here in Barbados, we have to keep pushing for the professionalism of teachers to keep refreshing their learning.”

He stated that there were currently 2,881 teachers in Barbados, of which 2,459 were graduates, with the bulk of them trained graduates and 7.3 per cent untrained graduates.

Mr. Jones also noted that four per cent were leaders – principals and deputy principals – and 2.4 per cent were part-time teachers with specific skills needed in the system.

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