Catholic education institutions transforming Caribbean societies

AEC Education Commission

(Left to Right: Sharon Mangroo, Claudette Rolle, Raymonde Joseph, Bishop Malzaire, Bishop Gordon, Celia Nicholas

The Education Commission of the Antilles Episcopal Conference has proposed “Catholic education institutions transforming Caribbean societies” as the Vision Statement for the educational service of the Catholic Church in a region where Catholic institutions make an important contribution to the education of youth.

The vision statement was developed at a January 22-23 Meeting of the Commission at St. John Vianney Seminary attended by Commission Chairman Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau Dominica and Bishop Jason Gordon of Bridgetown Barbados and Kingstown St. Vincent, as well as members Claudette Rolle, Director of Catholic Education in the Bahamas; Raymonde Joseph, Coordinator for Catholic Education in St. Lucia; Celia Nicholas, President of the Dominica Association of Teachers; and Sharon Mangroo, CEO of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) and former Chief Education Officer of Trinidad and Tobago.   

The meeting also developed a proposed Mission statement for the AEC Education Commission:


“To provide the framework for our Catholic education institutions to form Disciples of Christ and leaders in society”

The Catholic educators were convinced that the core business of Catholic education is formation and they prepared a series of proposed  (Goals) for the Commission in the following  (Key Responsibility Areas)  of support to Catholic education in the region:


Governance: Develop and provide a Governance Framework to facilitate the prudent management of our diocesan education institutions


Values: Develop and provide a values framework in keeping with the gospel and Catholic tradition to transform Catholic institutions to faith communities of living witnesses


Formation: Develop and provide a formation framework so that our Catholic education institutions will be proficient in forming this generation into Disciples of Christ and good citizens


Curriculum: Develop and provide a curriculum framework and classroom management competencies to ensure achievement of high standards of learning   so that all children, especially the most vulnerable. can achieve their full potential

The Commission also agreed to complete and publish the results of a survey of Catholic Education in the region which will include a summary of the number of students of all Faiths including Catholics, who are served by Catholic education institutions across the region.


One highlight of the meeting was the very positive appraisal given to the focus and content of Caricom Governments’ “Ideal Caricom Person” profile and particularly its emphasis on family values.  The Commission proposed the “integration of the CARICOM ‘Ideal Caribbean person’ statement into our value system to facilitate renewal of Caribbean culture.”


The draft proposals for the mission and goals of the AEC Education Commission in the 21st Century in the Caribbean are to be submitted to next Annual Plenary Meeting of the Bishops of the AEC in Guadeloupe in April for their review and endorsement for follow up in individual dioceses in the region.


By Mike James