Delivered at the close of the 2005 Learning Conference in Granada, Spain.

Greetings from Jamaica, the home of Bob Marley.

Jamaica is honoured and happy to be hosting the thirteenth annual Learning Conference in 2006, June 22-25.

It will be our pleasure to welcome you to Montego Bay, Jamaica, the tourism capital of the Caribbean, and a thriving young population that seeks social mobility through education. It is from Spain that Columbus set sail to find a new way around the world and in doing so he came upon the most beautiful pearl in the Caribbean, Xaymaca – the land of wood and water. It is significant that you should now be leaving Granada Spain to make plans to enjoy another conference taking place in Columbus' New World.

The theme for Conference 2006 is 'Living Issues in Education'. It has resonance for Educators in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. We are not only challenged by the advances and resources of technology and the vast and fast changes of the knowledge based era, we grapple with concerns such as healthy lifestyles and human values and facilitating diverse learners as they seek for self-fulfillment.

We are looking forward to sharing ideas, concerns and best practices in education at a time when all stakeholders are concerned about quality and achievement, literacy and lifelong learning, human growth and development and values and attitudes, culture and the diversities within the global society.

Montego Bay Community College and the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, two young tertiary level institutions, will be your hosts. They have the support and cooperation of the Universities in Jamaica, the other eight Teachers' Colleges and six Community Colleges.

During your stay we hope to provide you the opportunity to see our students at work in the various schools and to speak with practicing teachers and administrators. School tours will showcase the innovations in curriculum and the role of Government in the process of teaching and learning.

Our vibrant culture will be a rich backdrop to your programme. Entertainment packages will feature elements of our history, heritage and creative talents throughout the days of the conference.

We look forward to sharing with you and learning from you all in the spirit of 'One Love'. Let's get together and feel alright!

See you in June 2006.