The Isle of Man has, for the first time, participated in the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers as part of Government’s ongoing programme of international engagement.
Fifty-two Commonwealth Ministers attended the event – the second largest annual gathering of Commonwealth Ministers.
Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK welcomed the Isle of Man’s involvement, saying:
‘It is a reflection of the Island’s commitment to international engagement that it was invited to this major gathering for the first time.’
Professor Ronald Barr, Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Education and Children (DEC), represented the Island at the conference.
The theme was ‘Education for Equitable Development’ and topics that impact on the Commonwealth’s billion school-aged children were discussed.
Professor Barr attended sessions on pathways from education into employment, frameworks for Commonwealth partnerships in education, delivery of further and higher education in small island communities and enhancing adult literacy.
He met the Head of the Commonwealth of Learning, the British High Commissioner to the Bahamas and Jamaica and senior officials from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department of International Development.
He held a meeting with the head of Cambridge International Examinations, the international examining board of the University of Cambridge, which sets the iGCSE that Island 14 to 16-year-olds will study instead of GCSE from September.
Professor Barr said:
‘The conference was a fantastic opportunity to meet senior education officials from across the Commonwealth and showcase the Isle of Man. In particular, it was invaluable to meet Ministers and officials from islands who face the same educational challenges as ourselves.’
The conference took place in Nassau in the Bahamas from 22 to 26 June.