The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in The Bahamas is venue for the [19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers](http://thecommonwealth.org/media/event/19th-conference-commonwealth-education-ministers) (19 CCEM) this week. The event is being held under the theme, “Quality Education for Equitable Development: Performance, Paths and Productivity”, and representatives from more than fifty countries are participating.
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie delivered the keynote address on Tuesday night at the opening ceremony of this conference. Describing the gathering as the most important meeting in the world, the Prime Minister further asserted that *“education transforms lives.”* One of the end objectives of the event is to create a 15-year education plan for The Commonwealth. Referencing international reports on the links between education and both earning power and health, Prime Minister Christie said “*Your work makes all the difference between freedom and incarceration; employment and unemployment; indeed life and death.”*
Leading up to the event Deodat Maharaj, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General, had said the 19 CCEM will tackle the tough challenges facing governments in providing quality education and employable skills for young people, Further, the June 22-26 conference will give consideration to the decisions made at the international gathering in Korea, and build on the work of the 18CCEM Ministerial Working Group on the Post-2015 Agenda.
Also announced were plans to form a new working group, tasked with developing the pioneering Commonwealth Accelerated Development Mechanism for Education, which will support countries to harmonise national education goals with the internationally agreed post-2015 agenda.
Bahamas Education Minister the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald also addressed delegates, emphasising the need for innovation, progressiveness and planning, both in the thinking and approach on education. *“We must possess foresight and plan with purpose knowing that the needs of the global education community, especially within the Commonwealth, will have changed tremendously”* said the Minister. Given the critical importance of information delivery in the learning process, Minister Fitzgerald told stakeholders that creative and innovative methods of delivery were necessary to ensure that the learning needs of each child are consistently and adequately met.