Israel's Ambassador to Barbados, Mordehai Bivas in discussion with Minister of Education, Science Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones. (BGIS)
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BARBADIANS STAND TO benefit from some 25 scholarships which Israel will soon make available to Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Israel’s Ambassador to Barbados, Mordehai Bivas, disclosed this recently as he paid a courtesy call on Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, at his office at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.
While acknowledging that relations between Barbados and Israel had always been “very friendly”, Bivas said his country was always willing to share its knowledge and contribute to higher education. He noted that in the past eight years, Barbadians had benefited from courses in business, building, agriculture, and just last year, entrepreneurship.
“Education is the basis for every successful society and there is a great deal of emphasis on this in Israel. This is the engine of the Israeli economy and society,” he said, adding that though not possessing many natural resources, his country had managed to win some 10 Nobel Peace prizes.
“This is basically born out of the understanding that being poor countries with limited natural resources, the only resource we have to utilise and share is our human resources,” remarked Bivas. He explained that Barbados and others in the Caribbean and Pacific states would each year be beneficiaries of two or three one-year scholarships in public health that would take students to “the very famous university hospital” – the School of Medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In expressing appreciation for the scholarships, Jones commended Israel’s contribution to education here and suggested that interest could also be drawn to renewable energy, agriculture and science and technology. He said: “We have to significantly link what we do in education to the kind of strategies that we look at for development of the nation. Right now, one of our significant emphasis is on greening of the economy – the whole use of renewable energy as a central part of our growth strategy going forward.”
Pointing out that Barbados used many technologies developed in other places, the Education Minister stressed: “So, at the end of the day, we will have to put persons to help manage and operate all of these necessary resource solutions…so that is an opportunity for training that we can explore.”
Discussion also centred on areas of technical cooperation and assistance with respect to the University of the West Indies’ Food Security Centre, and Government’s proposed agricultural institute at St Lucy.
And, the Education Minister noted that there was room in Barbados for the development of new enhanced varieties of agriculture produce and field practices; animal husbandry; better production of livestock and poultry; and the area of fish farming. “So, a total integrated project [would be the result] where training of students would take place, and ultimately this could add to the food supply in our country,” Mr. Jones surmised.
The two officials concluded with a commitment to concretise the ideas and explore the possibility of a Memorandum of Understanding that would move the process further. (BGIS)