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UWI: Revamp education system
The education system needs to be revamped and revitalised to deal with societal changes. This was among the many issues raised at the two-day Education Conference held by the University of the West Indies Behavioural Sciences Department. Titled Maximising the Role of Education in a Changing Society, panelists expressed the view that there is need for the education system to be modernised to chart the way forward for future generations.
Delivering the keynote address, Pro Vice Chancellor, Planning and Development, Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie, said that for too long the education system has been dormant. Noting that the education system is being crippled by contributing challenges such as the economic downturn, poverty and mismatch of skills and job vacancies, Tewarie said the issue urgently needs to be addressed to avoid further breakdown: “Teachers and administrators are saying ‘I don’t know what my job is anymore.’ Students are feeling the disconnect between classroom and society and with the future coming at them with the speed of light. Our education system plateaued a long time and now has a receding relationship with the reality of constant change. The only thing that we can expect from the system we have, is diminishing returns.”
Reiterating that a crisis is facing the education system in T&T, Tewarie said the time has come for action. “In such a situation you have to move from thinking about improvement to making transformation happen. We must solve exiting problems, alter procedures, change attitudes, adjust assumptions and find and anticipate emerging problems. We can only act to change the present if our focus is on the future. We need to envision scenarios and chose a plausible future that we might collectively want to create,” Tewarie said. He also stressed the need for serious leadership within the education system to ensure that benchmarks are set and goals achieved.
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