Education Minister Ronald Jones believes that programmes need to be developed to reach learners at their individual level or stage.
The Minister emphasised this yesterday as he alluded to the value of technology in today’s learning environment in his closing remarks at the 5th International Conference on Higher Education.
The event was hosted by the Higher Education Development Unit and the Education Research Consortium at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
Noting that Barbados attempted to introduce this in 1999, Mr. Jones said it was unsuccessful, teachers were unprepared, and even though there were examples of technology in the classrooms, many of them stood there untouched, unused and decayed.
“So we have to do it all over again. We have to completely replenish the entire country,” he said, while noting that the teacher should no longer enter the classroom unprepared.
“He has to be prepared for teaching and that teacher doesn’t have to have 100 per cent knowledge because information that helps with your knowledge base is readily available to be accessed from any part of the world,” added Mr. Jones.
Stating that it was up to them to help children package and repackage the information they found by sifting out what was Important for their own learning, the Minister, who is also responsible for Science, Technology and Innovation, declared:“Every single day, every single hour so many bytes of information is being placed on the world wide web for us to use.”
The gathering of local, regional and international educators was also encouraged to question pedagogy every day and Mr. Jones reminded them that professional teachers had to constantly question ability, knowledge, presence and associations, among other things.
The Higher Education Development Unit and the Education Research Consortium were commended for organising the October 17 to 19 conference, and the Education Minister pointed out that such conferences were important as they allowed for cross-fertilisation and the sharing of knowledge.
“It shows your commitment to learning, relearning and transforming your learning space and that of the children that you work with…,” he noted.