Government will develop a blueprint to reform science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education across the system.
Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo made this disclosure today during the opening ceremony for the Barbados Human Resource Development Action Planning Workshops in the Bridgetown Conference Room, Baobab Towers, Warrens, St Michael.
The minister pointed to the need to create a culture of research, innovation and entrepreneurship as a key component of the ministry’s Human Resource Strategy.
“STEM education opens new opportunities for innovation and can also generate new high-end jobs,” she said. “This strategy therefore, seeks to facilitate the development of highly skilled researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators.”
“To accomplish this, a blueprint will be developed to reform science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM education from the primary to the tertiary level and in continuing education. Government will also facilitate entrepreneurship education at all levels, provide for business incubation and encourage research,” Byer-Suckoo said.
The minister said the success of these particular initiatives would require a behavioural and cultural change and lamented that too many Barbadians do not now see themselves as entrepreneurs, innovators or researchers.
“Training interventions will be needed to . . . effect the necessary ‘mindset’ change which, ultimately, will allow us to achieve the overall goal of increased competitiveness,” Byer-Suckoo emphasised.
The minister spoke to the importance of public/private partnerships as it related to Government’s national human resource development and stressed to paticipants that “this week’s activity will form an important phase in developing strong linkages as you collectively seek to examine the current problems and opportunities and to chart a clear path forward in developing the human capital in Barbados”.
The workshops which began today will conclude on Friday, May 23.