Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 29, 2015 (SKNIS): Ionie Liburd Willett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, has urged all stakeholders to do more to educate the youth in order to prepare them for the world of work. “This is 21st century living and if we are educating students for the 21st century, we have to think more than the 20, 19, and 18 subjects,” said Mrs. Liburd Willett during the opening of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Education Policy Review Validation and Sector Strategy Planning Workshop at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) on Wednesday, October 28. “We have to think about those soft skills which make for good communication, which make for good living,” she said.
Mrs. Liburd Willett stated that communication is important as it allows for better understanding and expression and mentioned other key areas that are vital.
“Collaboration, that’s another key area,” said Mrs. Liburd Willet, adding that it is important to work together as a team and bring creativity to the planning system. “Critical thinking, yes, sometimes it seems as though we are only educating students to regurgitate the information but we want to be mindful that we have to impress upon them and teach, so that they understand that they have to engage in critical thinking.”
Permanent Secretary Liburd Willett said that 21st century education is more than just reading, memorizing and regurgitating information.
“We are trying to do a lot but we want to make sure that when our students read, they read critically, she said, while noting that students should not be just reading to give back the information. “As we are doing all of this, it’s to find out where we are, where we need to go in this 21st century because our children cannot be left behind.
Mrs. Liburd Willett said much is being done in education and thanked all who came out to support the workshop.
She said that at the end of the two-day workshop the outcome should develop students who will be capable of functioning in the local context, as well as in the International arena.