Human Resource Development Is Key To Empowering Nationals

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Education A Key To Future Success

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 01, 2010 (CUOPM)

St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to support enclave industries and provide market access for them through the various multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.

“Our focus is on the production of high value-added manufacturing goods that would benefit from our excellent infrastructure and educated work force, and would have the capacity to generate sufficient value to pay decent wages to our workers,” St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said Friday.

“Our aim is the creation of a service-oriented economy, with tourism playing the leading role while Financial Services Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Offshore University services play supporting roles. But economic activity in these sectors generates demand for agriculture produce, handicraft and locally manufactured goods. We will therefore continue to develop and support the sectors that produce these goods,” Dr. Douglas said in his New Year’s Message to the people of the twin-island Federation.

He expressed pleasure that some of the manufacturing enterprises are already devoting their facilities in St. Kitts to the production of high value-added goods requiring high levels of skill and education, while their low-value added goods are produced in other jurisdictions with an abundance of unskilled but relatively cheap labour.

Dr. Douglas said human resource development is the cornerstone of his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government’s development strategy and it is through the human development programmes that nationals and residents are empowered to give them the means of fully utilizing their God-given talents and abilities.

He vowed to reverse the bitter fruit of social isolation and alienation.

“In our education programmes my Government places great emphasis on the development of the whole person ““ physical, spiritual, mental, and psychosocial.  The programmes at the Saddlers Secondary School, which will be replicated in other Secondary Schools,  provide us an important avenue for tapping into and developing the multiplicity of talents and skills that are often overlooked in a classical secondary school setting; talents and skills that, when properly developed, can turn insecure young people into calm, confident, vibrant, revenue-producers family members. This school would also facilitate life-long learning opportunities for adults in the relevant communities after regular school hours and would permit greater interaction between adult members of the society and the children of the nation in a range of after school settings,” said Dr. Douglas.

He said that the patterns and demands of modern life have caused us all to lead increasingly isolated lives.

“Work begins earlier and ends later.  Children’s playtime often involves an electronic gadget as opposed to a playmate.  Stories are heard from the television or the internet as opposed to a relative or older friend.  And this society and others around the world are reaping the bitter fruit of this social isolation and alienation.  My Government refuses to see either itself or the people of St. Kitts and Nevis as trapped victims of this global and deadly phenomenon.  We believe that, as a people, we have the power to change this particular trajectory,” said Dr. Douglas.

He spoke of an attempt to create young people with heightened levels of trust, hope, compassion, confidence, and self-respect; and in order to produce increasing numbers of young people who feel that they are connected to the broader society, concerned and responsible adults will be asked to familiarize themselves, by going to the nation’s schools once or twice per month and imparting a skill, a talent, a philosophy, social standards, joy, or even hope to the young people who have, for too long, been wooed by others, and now need to be wooed by adults.

“We, as adults, cannot fail to do our part here, for in doing so we will seriously undermine our right to utter a word of condemnation about the behavior, the attitude, or, the brutality, of any of these same children five, seven, or ten years from now,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He said that Education, will be more about the development of the whole person because it is only in doing so that “we will stand any chance of correcting precisely those ills that so bother and concern Kittitians and Nevisians, the people of the Caribbean, and the people of the wider world.”

“Youth development through inter-generational interaction is critical. That is how we develop psychologically healthy individuals, this is how we develop stable societies, and this is how my Government will continue to move us, on the human level, forward,” Dr. Douglas said.

He pointed out that human resource development also entails the provision of adequate health care.  But good health is more than good hospital care.

“Just recently I have been impacted in a negative way by the high incidence of amputations related to diabetes.  When a person reaches the hospital in relation to certain non-communicable diseases this is quite often the result of a failure to take appropriate preventive measure through healthy life styles,” noted Dr. Douglas, disclosed that the Ministry of Health will be escalating its activities to combat non-communicable diseases by promoting improvements in disease prevention, and averting disease development and progression in settings outside the medical system such as, at home, at school, at work and in the community.

“This will require intensified Public/Private Partnership and the collaboration of every citizen and resident.  As a people we also have to be mindful of the individual choices we make in our day to day life, recognizing that our action or inaction ultimately impact our health and the well being of our families, the community and the nation,” said the Prime Minister, who leads residents of his constituency and other parts of St. Kitts on a health and wellness walk on the first Saturday of each month.

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