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Under the theme “fostering innovation through education and culture,” the 24th meeting of Caricom’s Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), commenced yesterday at the Pegasus Hotel, with a call to address the important issues that are fundamental to sustainable development of the Region with its small vulnerable States and economies.This notion was enunciated by Senator Fazal Karim, Minister of Education and Training of Trinidad and Tobago, who, although unable to attend, delivered the feature address via a video presentation.Senator Fazal Karim (via video) addresses the opening ceremony of the 24th COHSOD Meeting yesterday.He pointed to the fact that the economic woes that are experienced within the Region are traced to a multiplicity of causes, even as he added that the solutions are no less complicated. However, he noted that the sustainable part of the environment is grounded in the Region’s ability to be creative, innovative and competitive and an inclination to nourish development in all spheres. He alluded to the fact that the centrality of information and communication technology embedded in the education system has served to reshape every aspect of the Region’s existence.Even as he pointed to the development of countries like Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden, he noted that it is crucial that the Region must be able to adapt, learn, re-learn and seek creative solutions and ways of doing things.Moreover, he said that the value of an employee will in fact be amplified when they are able to embrace technology and digital literacy in all spheres.Karim made reference to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) which, coupled with technology and higher education, will adequately prepare workers for a refined working atmosphere.And even as he spoke of the need to reform education in the Region, he asserted that such a process should be holistic and system-wide, adding that there is a need for the development of creativity and innovative capacity. He said efforts are also being made to examine the pre-teaching qualification of teachers.In addressing the overall school system, Karim noted that the escalating challenge of violence cannot be overlooked.“This meeting presents an opportunity for us to engage in focused conversations about innovation and the role of education and culture. But as a Region, we need to expand these conversations to the entire Region’s stakeholders – Government,Air Max Pas Cher France, private sector and other civil society groups – and to pursue in the context of functional cooperation, the development of a comprehensive,Zapatillas Baratas Online Hombre, regional innovation strategy.”This strategy, he envisages, will focus on innovation that will lend to sustainable development.Also speaking at the opening of the meeting was CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Colin Granderson, who emphasised that this year marks the fortieth since the establishment of the Caribbean Community. He noted that while much more can be done “we can take pride in our achievements as a Region.  Over the past four decades we have made significant strides as a Community, and in particular,Maillot Psg 2018/19, in the area of Human and Social Development.”He explained that the Region has been able to pool its technical and financial resources,Cheap Sneakers From China Free Shipping, and worked with institutions and development partners to produce regional public goods, and to support each other “as we grapple with the developmental challenges which faced us overtime.”These efforts, he said, resulted in the development of regional policies and programmes in education, addressing areas such as technical and vocational education, health and family life education, early childhood education,Air Max Pas Cher En Ligne, youth development and crime prevention.He said that in public health, the Region has led the way in consolidating action against HIV/AIDS through the Pan-Caribbean Partnership and in bringing global attention to the imperative of addressing the non-communicable diseases having galvanised “our own efforts regionally to address this scourge.”Ambassador Granderson however noted that the Region today is faced with new and emerging issues which are threatening to compromise the gains made towards the achievement of sustainable development.“This meeting of the COHSOD with its focus on fostering innovation through education and culture will zero in on addressing one of the main levers for attaining sustainable development in all of its dimensions – economic, social and environmental.”He then spoke of the region’s capacity to achieve the level of competitiveness required for success in the global economy which is in large measure dependent on the capacity for innovation in all spheres.According to the envoy, the capacity for innovation is fuelled by creativity.“Fostering creativity from the earliest stages must be a deliberate strategy for our human resource development systems.”Moreover,Manchester United Jersey Online Sale, he said that the COHSOD will turn the spotlight on this imperative which was recognised by the CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in 1997.In welcoming the representatives from the various CARICOM territories, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony, gave credence to the fact that over the years COHSOD fora have provided policy makers with the space, the opportunities to debate and discuss and to shape a vision for the Region.“We have seen this mechanism being utilised to focus attention on particular sectors such as education, health, youth, children, gender, sport and culture. This has allowed the Region to unravel some of the thorny issues within these sectors and proffer solutions to prevent, curtail and cure some anomalies.”And since sectors do not exist in a vacuum, he noted that sometimes in considering them separately there is a risk of losing the “big picture” where the synergistic efforts can make a greater impact. It was on this basis he disclosed that the Ministers of Culture felt that it was important that a joint meeting be held with their education counterparts and “I note for this particular meeting we have a very ambitious agenda touching on the role of culture and education in the development of the ideal Caribbean person…”Over the two days of the meeting, Ministers of Education and Culture are expected to discuss a 16-point agenda that places emphasis on matters including the Role of Culture and Education in the Development of the Ideal Caribbean Person; the development of skill sets for the knowledge economy; access, quality and coordination at all levels of education, and violence against children.The Meeting will focus also on the Draft Regional Development Strategy for the Cultural Industries in CARICOM and its implications for education and culture; TVET; and promoting healthy lifestyles in the development of the ideal Caribbean person. Ministers will also be updated on the preparations for the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) XI which will be held in Paramaribo, Suriname from 16-25 August, 2013.
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