St. George’s, March 18, 2011 (GIS) – A Grenada government minister supports local and regional efforts to expand education for young people to include more technical and vocational subjects.
Hon. Glynis Roberts – Minister of Labour, Social Security and Church Affairs – voiced support during her remarks at the opening of a two-day meeting in St. George’s of the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies ( CANTA).
She told regional delegates, as well as representatives of the Grenada National Training Agency (NTA), that the importance of training cannot be overstated.
“It is often said that our human resources are our most important resource. Our development as an individual country and in the region as a whole depends in large measure on the skills and abilities of our people,” said Minister Roberts.
The NTA’s mandate includes vocational training as well as certification of those involved in technical and skill trades.
In addition, Grenada’s Ministry of Education has undertaken what it calls a “refocus” of school curricula to give greater attention to subjects in areas such as arts, crafts, sports, tourism education and technical and vocational training.
“We welcome the paradigm shift in education which over the years has focused heavily on academics and ignored vocational training,” the Minister of Labor said. “This has resulted in a shortage of technical skills among our staff.”
Ms Roberts said that following the destruction of homes and other buildings by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Grenada experienced “severe shortages in carpentry, plumbing, masonry and other technical fields, and had to depend on importing these skills from other islands.’
The minister said the paradigm shift means that “young people will now have the choice of following pure academic lines or choosing a particular skill, knowing full well that the skill can now be certified”.
She described CANTA as a clear demonstration of the importance Caribbean governments place on educating and training their people.