Rt Hon. Perry Christie, former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, welcomes a new emphasis on education catalysed by the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, and calls on ministers to redouble their efforts to promote and develop this critical tool for development.
Viewed from a global perspective, there is a newfound appreciation of the role of education, as an indispensable part of the planning and policy matrix for social and economic development. Education has moved from the ivory tower of pedagogy into the mainstream, and is seen now as one of the essential resources that need to be exploited if a country, particularly a developing country, is to achieve its maximum potential and be positioned to compete in an increasingly global economy.
As the political leader of a small developing country, I developed a passion for education and, in so doing, began to truly understand its true value and power to transform lives. I recall the profound impact of education on my own life and how it catapulted me into a new realm of possibilities. It struck me as odd that when I was a teenager no one had ever explained to me the true and enduring value of an education. It was only much later in life that I developed an appreciation that education was not so much something to be acquired, but rather an investment in the future that could yield great returns, not only personally but for the wider community in which one lived…
*Statistics within article correct at original publication date of CHOGM 2015 Report.
Rt Hon. Perry Christie
Former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas