Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools holding meet in SVG
Principals from 11 English-speaking Caribbean countries are in St Vincent and the Grenadines this week to discuss matters relating to the evolution of the education sector in the region.
The 27th Biennial Conference and General meeting of the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools officially opened yesterday at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Villa Campus.
Curtis Greaves, who heads both the local Association of Secondary School Principals and the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools delivered the welcome remarks at yesterday’s ceremony.
“Our theme, ‘Technology infused education in the 21st century Caribbean’, emphasises the fact that our world is experiencing a paradigm shift and it is up to us as principals to understand this shift and learn how to move fluently with it,” Greaves said.
The Association president said that conferences like this one demonstrate the Caribbean’s readiness to be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and power to move education forward.
Greaves said that today’s world is filled with technological advancements and new learning opportunities and it is important to teach students how to grasp those opportunities.
“We must mold these model minds to think and act in ways that are innovative and forward thinking. We must teach our students to think outside the box, how to be different and not to fall in line with everyone else’s understanding and expectations of how they should develop,” he said.
Jimmy Prince, the education minister added to these sentiments, saying that it was necessary to modernise the delivery of education in order to make sense of the new world order.
He said that the Caribbean was faced with numerous challenges such as issues of resource deficiencies, pedestrian speed and unreliability and teachers who are unwilling to embrace the use of technology.
Prince said these challenges must be confronted and overcome and there was dedication and talent in the region to do so.
“Your role as principals is therefore a vital one. The quality of leadership that you bring to bear on this process will determine of course, how we go along this particular pathway. The region’s people depend on you to continue to strengthen the platform of education on which so much of our welfare of Caribbean civilisation rests,” the minister said.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in his feature address, took some time to comment humorously on the 11 Caribbean islands that are represented in the Association.
But on a more serious note, he made reference to his government’s thrust for an education revolution and the advancements that have taken place since the implementation of this initiative.
Gonsalves shared his belief that teachers must be passionate about the work they do and if one is not, then they must not pursue a career in education.
“The returns of the investment for education, the returns are higher than anywhere else. I betting on the young people, and the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines generally,” the Prime Minister said. “I betting on them, betting on the teachers, but is not like doing the lotto because I sure that quality education is what is going to be the answer to socioeconomic transformation and development and to carry forward all the sustainable development goals.”
Activities of the CAPSS conference will span the rest of this week before concluding on Saturday.