The Political Leader of the main opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC) party, Franka Alexis-Bernardine has called for a change in the way Grenadian children are taught in schools.
Alexis-Bernardine, a former Minister for Education and career educator, says there is a need to foster creative thinking abilities in the nation’s children.
The leader of Congress was at the time on a visit to the Mount Pure Mineral Water Company to personally acknowledge and congratulate the company on its silver medal in the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition for 2020.
She stressed the need to empower young people and instill a greater sense of work ethic among them.
Grenada is one of the countries which ranks poorly in terms of how its people are educated and prepared for the world of work.
The NDC leader believes information like that must be used to guide a new way of educating Grenadian children.
“It is the challenge of getting people innovated and empowered so that development can take place. It is people that are going to develop the country and people can’t come to develop a country for you. Your own people have to do so and it is by becoming innovative,” she said.
Alexis-Bernardine notes that the health pandemic has exposed many gaps in Grenada’s development and she expressed the hope that the experience can be used to make changes that would better aid in Grenada’s development.
“I can only hope that circumstances like this COVID that has brought across to us very clearly and very dramatically what deficits we have that would in fact allow people to become more creative,” she remarked.
The former Education Minister, the first female elected leader of a major political party in Grenada, said that the authorities must acknowledge the shortcomings and adjust education policies to suit.
“In terms of the attitude, first of all to get the recognition that you have a problem is quite a challenge and that’s why we have to distribute that information Islandwide and say you have a problem, look at it defined here that Grenada is at the bottom of the curve.
“And then now moving into the stage of how to empower the children even more before the adults because they must grow with that attitude of being able to become innovative and focused.”
Youth unemployment is said to be over 50%, with further increases, as a result of the pandemic.
She stated that creative thinking instead of learning by rote is what will enable a better future for Grenada’s youth.
“The learning by rote is so long out, it’s about creative thinking and learning to problem solve with your education.”
Alexis-Bernardine praised Mount Pure and the work of its female CEO, Rolanda Mc Queen as an example of how innovative and creative thinking can fuel development.
“This is very heartening to me and very encouraging because somebody has been able to make that transition and hopefully now we can help to use that to see further development.”
During the tour of Mount Pure the NDC political leader addressed the staff at the Carenage Office as well as those at the bottling facility in St Andrew.