Students of the St. Leonard’s Boys Secondary School sing at today’s service to mark the beginning of Education Month, 2011, at the??Wesleyan Holiness Church, Tudor Bridge, St. Michael. (A.Miller/BGIS)


Educators, at all levels of the system, have been urged to re-dedicate themselves to the highest ideals of their profession so that Barbadians "can continue to enjoy a standard of living equal to that in the developed world".

This appeal came today from Chief Education Officer (Ag.), Laurie King, as he addressed a service to mark the start of Education Month 2011, at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church, Tudor Bridge. Explaining the consequences of not doing

this, Mr. King told the gathering, "the large sums of money which are expended on education will go to nought if the teacher-student interaction is not effective."????

Mr. King also urged Barbadians to appreciate the contribution that teachers "have made and are continuing to make to the social, economic and political development" here and abroad.?? And, as a show of his own respect to the profession, he said: "I salute those teachers who continue to persevere with patience, pedagogical skill and empathy in motivating all students in the pursuit of excellence. As educators, you are entrusted with the greatest responsibility bestowed on mankind – that of moulding, nurturing and educating this country’s young people – a task which has, in recent years become more and more difficult."

Laurie King, Chief Education Officer (Ag) (left) and Ronald??Jones, Minister of Education and??Human Resource Development take part in today’s service to mark the beginning of Education Month, 2011, at the Wesleyan??Holiness Church, Tudor Bridge, St.??Michael. (A.Miller/BGIS)????

It was explained that this was not because the subject content had become increasingly difficult or because resources were lacking, but because schools were microcosms of the societies in which they existed, and they were being infiltrated by the same negative influences which were affecting society. To this end, he charged teachers to "take their duties seriously" and "be ever mindful that you may never know where your sphere of influence on your charges will end.

"Stay abreast of new developments in education; continue to utilise a wide range of methodologies and pedagogical strategies, and engage in personal and professional development, which would help you to improve your art," Mr. King advised.

Referring to the theme for Educational Month – Overcoming Educational Challenges in the 21st Century – the Chief Education Officer (Ag.) noted that knowledge-based economies had resulted in a number of trends and challenges that educators and institutions had now to confront. Explaining that this had made the relationship between quality education and relevant education all the more important, he pointed out that education must "focus on the acquisition of knowledge and skills including the social skills, while responding to national needs and priorities and emerging needs of the globalised world".

He acknowledged: "Our students must now have a regional and international frame of reference and exemplify a number of attributes including being creative and thinking critically; they must be able to solve problems and communicate effectively. Our students must be knowledgeable and informed; they must be competent and have leadership skills.

"They must be able to work in teams and be technologically literate; they must be socially and culturally responsive; students should be ethical, innovative and have a passion for entrepreneurial activities; they must be lifelong learners who are self-motivated."


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