Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Professor Sir Hilary is confident that the region will emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID has really brought us to the brink,” he said during a virtual news conference from Kingston, Jamaica on Sunday.
“I do believe we are going to emerge out of this despite the fact that we have lost so much GDP, we have lost so much revenue … it’s a major catastrophe from the point of view of income, revenue and capital that we have been bled.”
Meanwhile, Sir Hilary said COVID is forcing us to do many things that we have always wanted to do.
“We have always wanted to embrace technology much more aggressively in respect of teaching and learning, governance and administration, improving the efficiency and reducing the cost.
This is something that we have always wanted to do but we have tended to do this rather slowly. But COVID has forced us into, like it or not, get on with it. And this is precisely what is happening … and the effect has been to drive us deeper into the use and embrace of technology,” he added.
At the same time, the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI), said COVID has revealed with “stark clarity” the challenges of the digital divide that exist in every country, between town and country, between one institution and another institution, one school and another school, the capacity of teachers and administrators to manage the technology efficiently in their institutions.
“So it has shown where we are. And where we are, we have no reason to be comfortable and I know for all the governments this is a top priority in the digital application,” he said.
“I think we will emerge out of this better and stronger. I have no doubt we will emerge out of it better and stronger especially also in the area of social justice for the majority of communities who have been historically marginalised, students who are in households in communities that are materially challenged by poverty and how to bring them forward so that they are not punished by their poverty and all of these big issues of development.”