Mitchell observed that countries with few resources should invest heavily in their human resources. This, he says, is a similar sentiment to the government of Saint Lucia.
“You can have oil and gas and if your people are not educated, they don’t know what to do with the oil and gas. You could have gold and bauxite, but if they are not educated, they will not know how to monetise the gold and bauxite,” Mitchell said in his address to the conference.
The Grenada PM advised that education can lessen the poverty found in developing countries. Mitchell’s words echoed those of Saint Lucian Nobel Laureate Sir Arthur Lewis. “The fundamental cure for poverty is not money, but knowledge,” the Nobel Laureate had advised. PM Mitchell invites the government to reflect on the legacy of Saint Lucia’s scholars.
“They showed that they were able to compete with the best of them regardless of where they came from,” Mitchell said, stressing, “We cannot walk away or withdraw or reduce our investment in educating our people.” He reminded all Saint Lucians to examine their history and to learn from it.
“Too often, we do not celebrate and appreciate the remarkable achievements that our people have been able to accomplish when we are unified when we set goals, and when we work towards them,” Mitchell said.
The current administration has made its commitment to deliver educational opportunities to all Saint Lucians. Once assuming office, the current administration paid the facilities fees for all students, waived the fees for CSEC Mathematics and English Language, and reinstated the one-laptop-per-student programme.