Minister of Education, Science and Technology Ronald Jones believes there is money to be made from the current technological revolution that is sweeping the globe, and is therefore calling on all schools to get on board with this change.
“The agenda for success is that we have to embrace all technologies for learning in our schools. We have to,” Jones said in an address to the closing ceremony for the Fifth International Conference on Higher Education at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
He called for particular focus on software development, saying it could provide the economic buttress that Barbados needs.
“Unfortunately we have not yet learnt how to make money for our countries,” he lamented.
“We tell our children go to school, others tell them go and make money by going through school. This is wrapped in their minds, ‘I am making money to make my conditions better to make my world better, to make my family better by making money’, so we have to respond then to every negative of the world because we don’t have a buttress, we don’t have something to support us in times of financial and economic decline, so we are open to everywhere the tide goes within the global context,” he added.
The education minister also recalled that back in 1999 Government had implemented a technological learning space within secondary schools. However, he said this was unsuccessful as teachers were unprepared and as a result many of the technologies remained “untouched, unused and decaying”.
However, Jones revealed that his ministry was attempting to reintroduce the programme with a view to utilizing available technologies to make learning materials easily accessible.
“I don’t need to spend 40 million dollars on a school but I need to develop programmes which would reach the learner wherever that learner is, by utilizing what we currently have or what evolves,” he said.
The minister also argued that in this current technological age “teachers should no longer go to the classroom unprepared for teaching . . . because information that helps with your knowledge base is widely available.
“It can be accessed from any part of the world,” he said.