By Joy-Ann Gill
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — Secondary students who attended today’s online Careers’ of the Future Students’ Conference have been assured that the ministry of education, technological and vocational training will prepare them for what lies ahead in the job market.
The commitment came today from Chief Education Officer, Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, at the official start of the virtual event.
“At the Ministry, we are very aware of the fact that we are preparing some of our students to work in jobs that do not yet exist. This requires us to be forward-looking and forward-thinking in our approaches to education,” Dr Archer-Bradshaw said. “While we do not know what the world would look like five to 10 years from now, we have a duty to our students to analyse trends in the job market, and to prepare them adequately for the future of work.”
Acknowledging the “overwhelming response” by students across the island, the chief education officer noted that the two-day conference aimed to provide the young people with the opportunity to interface with individuals working in groundbreaking fields.
Stressing it would also sensitise them to the world of possibilities in relation to finding or creating employment, she highlighted areas such as coding, FinTech, green engineering, artificial intelligence, agro technology, aquaponics and robotics.
The top official encouraged the students to become more aware and reflective as they also enjoyed the conference activities. Dr Archer-Bradshaw said: “Students, as you engage in your sessions, I want you to demonstrate some of the characteristics of the ideal Caribbean citizens. I want you to engage in independent and critical thinking. I want you to question.
“I want you to think about how you can use the knowledge that you will gain to create homegrown solutions to existing problems. Overall, I want you to have fun. We at the Ministry are committed to providing opportunities for you to grow and to develop by making your educational experiences meaningful and relevant.”
The February 8 – 9 conference aims to expose secondary school students to trailblazing careers and important aspects of personal and professional development.
In addition to topics highlighted by the chief education officer, students will also learn about 3D printing, the blue economy, photovoltaic technology, human resilience, mental wellness and soft skills, among other things.