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Education Officials in the OECS take action to address COVID-19

Education Officials in the OECS take action to address COVID-19

OECS Media Release

Decision makers and key players in the area of education in the Eastern Caribbean held the first session of a series of virtual meetings on March 17, 2020 to discuss a Regional Education Sector’s Response Plan to the COVID-19 pandemic.

OECS Ministers of Education, Permanent Secretaries, Chief Education Officers and Directors, along with the Registrar of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and the Managing Director of the online learning platform Notesmaster attended the virtual meeting held last week. 

In the main, the participants agreed to take measures as follows:

  • transitioning schools to online learning and ensuring the access of teachers and students to the necessary equipment, infrastructure and technologies;
  • exploring Public Private Partnerships to ensure the strengthening of necessary systems for virtual learning;
  • envisioning the best options to facilitate pending regional and national student assessments and exams;
  • exploring the possible repatriation of students stationed at dorms across the campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI) which closed after the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • seeking alternative arrangements through the locations of UWI Open Campuses in the OECS Member States to facilitate tertiary level exams;

The Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules outlined the coordinated efforts of the Member States to ensure the continuity of student learning and to reduce the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector in the Eastern Caribbean. Dr. Jules also highlighted the collaboration with Notemaster:

“We are pleased that Notesmaster offers their free online learning platform along with training for principals and teachers on how to use this tool. While this is being explored, it is important that the region pays close attention to the digital divide to ensure that all students are able to benefit from these interventions.” Dr. Jules commented. 

The education officials agreed to subsequent virtual meetings with regards to a continued regional response and to update the general public on the strategies which will be put in place as the situation evolves. These efforts to support educators, students and their families are most welcome.

Education COVID-19
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Sisera Simon Head, Education Development Management Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, OECS
Rafer Gordon Education Specialist, Education Development Management Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, OECS
Lisa Sargusingh-Terrance Reading Specialist, OECS
Tevin Shepherd Programme Officer, Education Development Management Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, OECS
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Sisera Simon Head, Education Development Management Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, OECS
Rafer Gordon Education Specialist, Education Development Management Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, OECS
Lisa Sargusingh-Terrance Reading Specialist, OECS
Tevin Shepherd Programme Officer, Education Development Management Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, OECS
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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