Full Implementation of Education for All as a Vehicle for Meeting the Learning Needs of Children, Youth, and Adults

Shawn Richards, federation of saint kitts and nevis

 

Ambassador David Doyle along St. Kitts and Nevis Minister of Education  Mr. Shawn Richards

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The Ministers of Education from Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed their commitment with education in their common release.

Good morning, Ministers, Excellencies and distinguished  members  of  the press.

I am Shawn Richards, Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister of the Caribbean state of St. Kitts and Nevis.

I wish to underline on behalf of the Caribbean states – who make up the GRULAC community – that we support the sentiments expressed in the GRULAC press statement.  We endorse especially the need to step-up the full implementation of Education for All as a vehicle for meeting the learning needs of children, youth and adults.

The EFA agenda, for us in the Caribbean, remains unfinished business.

In the Education Agenda 2030,  we would like to see recognition of the specificity of our distinct education and training needs, as small island  developing states, characterized by vulnerabilities of remoteness and climate change.

First, we need further efforts to complete the critical EFA  goal of access to primary education.

With a few exceptions, the net enrollment rate for primary education in the Caribbean remains below 90% according to UNESCO statistics.

The second area of priority is the need for strengthened technical assistance – and funding – to develop appropriate Technical and Vocational  Training (TVET) programmes across the Caribbean, in recognition that some 27% of young men drop out of the mainstream schooling system in our countries, becoming disenfranchised and unemployable.

A critical area in future educational policy for all the Caribbean states.

Lastly, we encourage UNESCO, as the lead agency for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, up to 2014, to scale up its ESD work under the new Global Action Plan by focusing on policy integration, educators, youth and local communities, in particular.

Thank you

Minister Shawn Richards

St. Kitts and Nevis

Incheon, 21 May 2015

This speech has been done during the meeting of the Ministers of Education from Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Education Forum on 21st May 2015.

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