From education to employment

MSP outlines future for Scottish learning

First Minister Jack McConnell MSP has outlined his vision for the future ““ knowledge and skills must drive Scotland’s competitive edge over the next 20 years.

Addressing the Scottish parliament last week, Mr McConnell highlighted a number of key proponents in the “Futures Project ““ Thinking Long Term”: “Whatever the future may throw up at us – for me, its clear that knowledge and skills are the primary way to enhance Scotlands competitive advantage over the next 20 years and beyond. An educated population will be able to adapt and respond better to the challenges and opportunities of that future”.

Underlining the link between poverty and the uneducated, he continued: “Education is an escape route out of poverty. It opens up choices and opportunities for people. It can break the link between the poor life chances of the parents and those of the child. Education is the only investment which drives all things. It drives productivity and economic prosperity; it promotes social cohesion and cultural development”.

“Scotland has one of the best education systems in the world but we need it to be the best in the world”, he continued. “A truly world class education system that will serve people throughout their lives. Our ambition is to have the best education system in the world by 2020″.

Setting out a blueprint for the future, he proposed: “We must complete the school building programme – to ensure our school buildings are the best in the world”.

“We will train more teachers – so Scotlands teaching profession is the best in the world. We need even more vocational options in schools so young Scots have the best choices in the world. And we can drive up standards and ambitions through more Schools of Ambition. We will support Scottish universities and colleges who are already among the best in the world”.

“And we must stay true to our commitment: reducing the number of young Scots not in education, employment or training IS a national priority”, he added.

Vijay Pattni.

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