THE PRIME Minister has said the national consultation on education could lead to adjustments that some people might find unsettling.
Dr Rowley said for changes to take place within the context of the 21st century to prepare the next generation requires open and honest discussions.
He said what concerns him is whether the population is prepared to make the adjustments that such honest and open discussion would throw out.
“Certain recommendations would arise, and some of those recommendations would be far-reaching with respect to the implications for who does what if we are to make the significant changes that have to be made in education right now.”
Rowley was a guest at the first of a series of virtual stakeholder consultations on Education 2020 that includes town hall meetings, surveys and stakeholder engagement.
The series, which began on Tuesday night is being carried live on TTT on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next three weeks.
The process is being led by Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, who in her opening remarks said, “What we do within the next few months has the power to make or break our country.”
She said the consultation would explore seven critical areas, including the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) and transition to secondary schools; the Concordat; curriculum reform; blended learning; the role of parents and guardians in education; the role of the Teaching Service Commission; teacher training; and development.
She said these areas span the educational landscape from early childhood care and education to primary, secondary, tertiary, special education and skills training.
She said it is important to understand the impact each of these areas will have on the transformation of the education sector as the ministry strives to deliver quality, equitable and accessible education to all citizens.
“We have made adjustments as necessary thus far and parents, students have worked with the ministry to keep the business of education going as efficiently as possible.”
She said this consultation forms part of the government’s undertaking to put measures in place to ensure the safety of citizens while trying to return the country to some semblance of normality, as enunciated by the Prime Minister.
“The outcomes of this consultation will inform policy that will subsequently inform how the reopening of schools will look, how teachers will teach, how engagement will be facilitated on the national level, and, most importantly, how all of this will result in the education of our most important resource, our children.”
She called on stakeholders not to miss the opportunity to be part of this transformation but to contribute via several platforms, including WhatsApp, text messaging, e-mail or by calling listed telephone numbers.
“This consultation is for all of us. As we begin, let us not believe any contribution is irrelevant.”
She said government has invested heavily in education since independence, and citizens have the ability to provide feedback which will inform and help create the kind of education needed for national development and a successful future.