Take 'single market' to school
- workshop hears
Stabroek News
May 27, 2004

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'Champions of the CSME' want a compilation of music advocating Caribbean unity; and the objectives of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) to be placed in the school curriculum as a course of study.

This was just two of a number of suggestions, which have come out of education awareness workshops on the CSME, being held throughout the region to spread the message, Salas Hamilton, who is responsible for communication at the CSME, said. The participants are dubbed `Champions of the CSME' for the role they are expected to play in getting the message across the region.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is currently funding this phase of the education awareness project to the tune of US$300,000. This includes consultancy costs and travel for some 60 participants to the various workshop venues.

Hamilton, who just concluded a two-day workshop in Georgetown with members of civil society, youth leaders, musicians, non-governmental organisations and the private sector, said participants felt the workshop should have been held over a longer period.

Among the other suggestions are that there should be cultural performances such as concerts where the message could be relayed and simple publications illustrating, for example, what a university graduate has to do to take advantage of the free movement of skills in the region.

Hamilton stressed that the single market and economy will not work without public education and people involvement.

He said there was not enough information on the CSME at the ground level and to this end meetings were held with members of civil society and other stakeholders in Grenada, Barbados, Jamaica and Suriname to find out what people knew and who they felt should be part of the education awareness programme.

The seminar held in Georgetown attracted participants from Guyana, Grenada, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Among the participants who have taken part in the workshops are soca artiste, Gabby of Barbados and Jamaican Buju Banton of reggae fame.

Asked why only one participant took part in the activity in Guyana, Hamilton said that the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation should have organised the local participants. (Miranda La Rose)