The Bahamas Set to Host Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education

The Bahamas Government will host the Ninth Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education (9IAMME), February 9-10, 2017 at Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island.

Ministers of Education are expected to discuss recent regional developments and challenges, and chart the way forward for the 34 representatives of the Organization of Americas States (OAS), and observer states, during the ministerial forum.

Conference Chairman, the Hon. Jerome K. Fitzgerald, who is also The Bahamas’ Minister of Education, Science and Technology, announced plans for the 9th Meeting at a Press Conference, Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

Minister Fitzgerald highlighted the purpose of the 9IAMME stating, “Ministers of Education from the OAS will assemble in The Bahamas to discuss the Education Agenda of the 34 member countries and by extension the Latin American and Caribbean region.”

The meeting is jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the OAS, the Inter-American Council for Integral Development and the Inter-American Committee on Education. In addition to Education Ministers, local and international senior education officials, school administrators and teachers are expected to attend the conference.

During 8IAMME in Panama City, Panama, in 2015 three Working Groups were established to compile ideas, good practices and challenges relating to three common concerns to member states. They were as follows:

Working Group 1 – “Quality and Equitable Education”

    Working Group 2  –  “Strengthening of the Teaching Profession”

    Working Group 3 – “Early Childhood Care”

At the 2017 forum, Ministers will draw on the findings and recommendations of the Working Groups to devise policies for their respective countries. The Working Group outcomes will also be the impetus for collaboration between member states to benefit from each other’s expertise and good practices.

According to the Education Minister, The Bahamas has made significant progress in education, “The Bahamas has been at the helm of the global education discussion. We have made significant strides in education and have garnered international attention.”

Organizers are excited that for the first time in the meeting’s history, a Trade Exhibition will be showcased which will feature innovative educational products from approximately 20 local and international exhibitors who will also display good practices in education.

The theme for 9IAMME is An Inter-American Education Agenda: Building Alliances Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the OAS website, (http://www.oas.org/en/about/who_we_are.asp), the OAS is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., from October 1889 to April 1890.  The OAS came into being in 1948 with the signing in Bogotá, Colombia, of the Charter of the OAS, which entered into force in December 1951. There have been several amendments to the original Charter to shape the OAS into what it is today.

The Organization was established in order to achieve among its member states—as stipulated in Article 1 of the Charter—”an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.”

OAS member states are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

For more information on The Bahamas Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, visit www.ministryofeducationbahamas.com

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