A retired international civil servant has urged education administrators to change the school curriculum to meet current and future needs of the society.
Dr Chelston Brathwaite, the former Ambassador to China who also once led the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) told the Association of Primary Schools’ Principals’ monthly general meeting educators needed to modify the curriculum to meet 21st Century needs.
Reminding principals that careers in medicine, engineering and law weren’t the only jobs in the workforce he said: “The role of the school in the development of our country must, therefore, be subject to national debate and decisions.
“Two of the most important question, which we must ask, in my view are what kinds of jobs will be available to the graduates of the school of the 21st Century and are we training the right kinds of persons for this new world?
“In our current circumstances, there are many educated people in the world who are unemployed but that does not mean we must stop educating people because it is the educated people who will create the jobs of the future but our educational system must become more demand-driven where we educate people based on the current and future needs of our societies.”
Commenting on an explosion of violence and indiscipline in the school system, Dr Brathwaite emphasised that it was the responsibility of school to maintain a no-nonsense policy towards violence, bullying, and indiscipline.
The ex-diplomat said: “If we wish to remain a society of law and order then the schools must be the breeding ground for the values which we wish upon our society.
“We must not allow our children to be wayward in schools and then expect them to be responsible and disciplined adults so that the cost of indiscipline in the society is reduced.
“We need to have more support systems and more guidance in schools for our youth, we must be able to see the potential of children and give them a push.”
The former IICA head presented a copy of his book, Ten Defining Moments to the principals of each public primary school.