Sunday, April 14, 2024

Second chance at education


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ADULTS WHO FIND themselves unable to satisfy the educational requirements for landing jobs will have an opportunity to upgrade their qualifications through the Second Chance Education System.
Minister of Education and Human Resource Development Ronald Jones, who made the disclosure yesterday, said that despite the money spent on education, many people were leaving secondary school without the competencies and skills that made them employable.  
Jones was speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Consultation on Literacy and Adult Education, at the Ministry of Education in Bridgetown.
He said the ministry had conceptualized the Second Chance Education System as part of the human resource development strategy to address the needs of school-leavers, other youths and adults.
He said that Barbados boasts of its high literacy rate and the provisions made for the education of its citizens, with Government spending in excess of the recommended six per cent of the gross domestic product yearly on education.  
Therefore when 722 of the 3 961 students who took the Common Entrance Examination scored below 30 in the overall examination and when students leave secondary school without an adequate set of marketable skills, competencies and knowledge and are unable to transition successfully from secondary school to tertiary education and the world of work, that was nothing to be pleased about, Jones said.
Against this backdrop, the Second Chance Education System was devised to provide an opportunity for those who have not successfully completed their secondary education to gain qualifications as well as people desirous of transitioning or prequalifying for a change in career, Jones explained.
In addition, Jones said his ministry had secured a $20 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank and a “competency-based training fund” would be established to train and certify 5  650 unskilled workers over four years.
Yesterday’s consultation was held under the theme Harnessing The Power And Potential Of Literacy And Adult Education For A Sustainable And Viable Future.
The consultation came out of the Sixth International Conference On Adult Education held in 2009 in Belém, Brazil, where a framework for action was adopted by participating countries including Barbados.
Deputy principal of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Dr Patricia Saul, said that the aim of the consultation was to assess the situation of literacy and adult education and identify strategies to strengthen the process at the country level. (LK)


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