Lost amid the noise of a struggling economy, navigating a pandemic and more recent ash fall from La Soufrière is the decision by the government to create the Education Reform Unit headed by Dr. Idamay Denny.
For many years commentators have been pleading with successive governments the urgent need to transform how we educate our citizens to ensure Barbados ride the crest of innovation in order to sustain global competitiveness. Increasingly the emergence of technology and other innovative approaches to create and distribute products and services demand we change how we prep our citizens.
The Education Reform Unit‘s mandate it has been reported is to formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate reform initiatives aimed at transforming the education sector. Lest we forget transforming the education system is listed in the 2018 Barbados Labour Party Manifesto. Unfortunately there is not much to be heard from the political and non governmental opposition besides the usual noise. In fairness to them the citizenry is blinkered and therefore divided on the issue of eduction reform. We content ourselves with debating if to discontinue the 11+.
Critics will argue several studies have been produced, why is it necessary to create a project unit. Others may suggest trying to create change from studies whose shelf life has expired is an exercise in futility. What the blogmaster accepts is that change is constant and change we must if we desire to remain comfortably in the saddle.
Covid 19 has further exposed the dysfunction in local operating and business models. The time is overdue to build consensus on educate our people to drive the change required to sustain ourselves. All of the changes we rail about daily will not happen by accident. The perquisite to change movement has to be triggered by thought leadership. We must create a culture in the country that is about fuelling ideas, fuelling knowledge capital and then executing the delivery of tasks to achieve a national objective that feeds our capacity to be globally competitive in order to comfortably support ourselves.
Items like teaching coding and robotics should have been integrated in the school curriculum a long time ago. When BU attempted to discuss the role digital currencies, cybersecurity and non traditional approaches to doing business in Barbados we solicited noise from the usual suspects. This is the global trending, we have no choice albeit late in the day to educated our citizens to ensure we are not left further behind.
The blogmaster extends best wishes to the success of the Education Reform Unit albeit.