The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) participated in a Stakeholder Consultation on the Ministry of Education’s five-year strategic plan for education. The consultation intended for political parties, was attended solely by the DNA and focused on sharing the main points of the Ministry’s Education Strategy and receiving feedback from those in attendance.
These consultations began in 2019 but were halted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and included stakeholders such as Education Leaders, student groups as well as Public and Private Sector partners.
This consultation on the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Education was led by Dr. Patricia George-Benfeild, the Consultant who was responsible for the sector strategy and served as a Former Deputy Director of Education in Antigua and Barbuda.
The strategic plan is said to be a continuation of the current education strategy for Antigua and Barbuda and is aligned with the OECS Education Strategy and Sustainable Development Goal 4 which is quality Education. She added that it will also push us past where we have never gone before and calls for bold action.
The DNA is a strong proponent of public Consultations as critical tools for inclusivity and good governance. We commend the efforts of the Ministry for embarking on this exercise.
However, we implore the Ministry to make proper use of these consultations and its sector strategy to ensure that the best decisions to advance Education in Antigua and Barbuda are made. Too often successive Governments have held consultations, created policies and strategies yet fail to enact them and use them as tools for national development.
Malaka Parker, Chairperson of the Democratic National Alliance noted that “the DNA believes an egalitarian purpose-driven education system is required to move us to the next stage of our development. TVET must be the nucleus and seedbed of this development. Let us determine our national priorities and let us move fast to create an educational system that promotes creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship”
The DNA believes that our education system must be liberalized if it is to be responsive to the changing economic dynamics especially in the COVID-19 environment.
Expanding investment in human capital is vital to nation-building particularly given the DNA’s commitment to diversifying our economy. Our primary resource as we redevelop our economy and society is our people. A revised TVET program will be the single most strategic investment we can make in secondary and post-secondary education and is critical to support the acceleration of a diversified economy.