According to Jules (2010), “We are at a historical juncture in the Caribbean when we must take careful stock of where we are, where we seek to go and how we intend to get there.” In light of changes in the global economy, technology and society, I believe it is necessary to reevaluate our educational aims in order to meet the needs of contemporary Caribbean society. Jules (2010) is of the opinion that in order to meet these modern challenges the Caribbean needs to employ effective measures within the education system which will meet the present needs of society. I believe that there are key aims which should be the focus of regional education. In considering what I think education should ...view middle of the document...
However, I think that the main focus of education should be to cater for the needs of a society within the context of present needs.
In deciding whether or not the aims I have chosen are worth pursuing, I draw on the views of Dewey (1916) as to what constitutes good aims. He stipulates that aims must be based on existing conditions and the resources and problems of a situation (Dewey, 1916). Dewey (1934), stated that the methods and forms of education stem from the needs of the existing society. Thus equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to function in society should be one of the purposes of education in the Caribbean today. Indeed, Matthews (2013) in a World Bank report, noted that relevant, quality education are important aspects contributing to economic growth. Therefore, I believe that the education system has a responsibility to ensure that students are taught the necessary skills and knowledge in order for them to become well adjusted, contributing members of society.
In light of global trends and the increase in the use of technology in the workplace, I have chosen to specifically highlight technology oriented education. Our education system should seek to develop related skills in students so as to prepare them for entry into the workforce and society as a whole. This means that methods and materials used to teach should be reevaluated to incorporate these aspects into the existing curriculum.
However, given the ever changing needs of society and our economy, skill sets should not be limited to specific skills and knowledge for its own sake, but should also include critical thinking and problem solving skills. Matthews, (2013) points out that reports on CSEC performance indicate poor student performance in areas of critical thinking, analysis and communication. He noted that in spite of eleven years of formal education, many school leavers struggle to find employment. Jules (2010) also pointed out the in addition to cognitive skills, workers today must possess attitudes and communication skills necessary for the world of work. It is therefore evident that education today should serve to provide students with these critical skills.
Many philosophers and educators have agreed that education should seek to provide citizens with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to prepare them for modern society. Therefore the following question must be asked: Does the present education system make provisions for the acquisition of such knowledge and skills?
I think consideration has been given to our current needs as a society and this is reflected in documents such as the Caribbean Education Strategy in which one of their primary objectives is the creation of “an internationally competitive labour force,” ( p. xiv). In this report, Dr. Didacus Jules along with other education officials in the Caribbean examined current Caribbean society and its needs with regard to education. This report stated...