Major early reading development program launched in six OECS Member States

Major early reading development program launched in six OECS Member States

OECS Media Release

Friday, September 15, 2017 — Kindergarten to Grade 3 students across six Eastern Caribbean States will soon benefit from a new innovative Program aimed at vastly improving their reading ability thanks to the OECS Commission / USAID funded Early Learners Program (ELP) launched today in Grenada. 

The six beneficiary OECS member states in which the ELP is being implemented are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Teachers will also benefit from the Program aimed at improving professional development opportunities to enhance the quality of teaching through learner-centered approaches to instruction, learning and assessment.

The initiative is also equipping schools with the educational resources needed to increase the number of students reading at or above their grade level.

OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules applauded the initiative which he said was not only upholding quality education as a fundamental human right but a critical investment in improving the future economic and social fabric of the OECS.

“We know that the future success of every child is often built upon what he or she learns and develops – mentally, emotionally and socially - before they turn eight” said Dr. Jules.

“Research has demonstrated time and again that solid investments made in early learning leads to substantial gains in character development and academic achievement later life paving the way for a more dynamic and inclusive society.

“These critical early learning years are when cognitive skills or the foundations for academic achievement and social skills are developed and I commend USAID and the OECS Education Unit for working closely to launch this initiative which ultimately invests in our young people at a critical juncture in their lives.

“I would particularly like to thank the US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean H.E Linda S. Taglialatela for her steadfast support of the OECS and the Early Learners Program as we continue to jointly drive Programs aimed at improving the socio-economic well-being of all our citizens” said Dr. Jules.
 

About the Early Learners Program

The OECS/USAID Early Learners Program (ELP) is a reading development programme for young learners. It is administered by the OECS Commission and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The ELP is addressing essential aspects of policy and practice in order to improve the reading levels of all learners at the early primary level (Grade K to Grade 3).

The six beneficiary OECS member states in which the ELP is being implemented are Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In addition to the areas of focus outlined above, another significant undertaking for the ELP will be the review and improvement of the current early grade curricula in the beneficiary OECS member states. Educators and policy makers will also develop assessment standards and guidelines and establish frameworks for teaching and learning standards.

The launch of the Program took place at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort in St. George, Grenada on 15th September, 2017. 

This news was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the OECS Commission and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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