Michael Browne chairs 10th OAS Meeting of Education Ministers

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By Robert A. Emmanuel

Antigua and Barbuda’s Education Minister Michael Browne is in Washington DC to participate in the 10th Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education.

The two-day meeting, which began yesterday at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters, is expected to end later today.

Minister Browne was elected at the meeting by his education counterparts as the Chair for the meeting and he gave brief opening remarks.

Referring to the Caribbean’s continuing challenges with drought, Browne said, “A population and a people must adjust itself constantly to be able to respond to the need to provide water to its people . . . education itself must continually evolve so that every single nation must position its persons so that they could create employment, adjust to existing circumstances, and at the same time continue to create employment, or  be in a position to take on employment so they can adjust to those circumstances, [and] anticipate circumstances that otherwise would not have existed,” he said.

“While we face these individual challenges as nations, as a region, we have all the answers and, having those answers, what it requires is that we continuously engage about best practices,” he added.

Browne noted that the Education Ministers’ meeting “ensure[s] that the region’s isolated and individual problems can be solved in a collective body, and resources can be shared as well.”

Education officials from throughout the hemisphere will seek to construct solutions to issues regarding the Plan of Action for the Inter-American Educational Agenda (IEA), particularly on providing quality, inclusivity, and equity within the education system, strengthening the teaching profession and a comprehensive attention to early childhood learning.

According to the official agenda, Ministers have discussed “Building Sustainable Partnerships through Cooperation, with renewed focus on Education and Skills Development for better citizenry,” “Deepening the Discussion on Quality, Inclusive, and Equitable Education,” “Teacher Training and Professional Development,” and “Comprehensive Early Childhood Care.”

Today, they will be expected to discuss “inter-sectoral collaboration that emphasizes the link between education and labor for producing competitive economies and decent work, as well as the importance of promoting science and technology” and identifying and securing “sustainable partnerships through cooperation and collaboration in order to leverage existing resources: Development Cooperation Fund (DCF), Caribbean Development Bank, InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), World Bank, Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).”

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