OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme
Thursday, March 29, 2018 — As part of ongoing teacher education efforts, educators from across the Eastern Caribbean will gather in St. Lucia from 3rd to 4th April, 2018 for a major regional teacher education conference under the theme: “One Voice in Re-Engineering OECS Teacher Education.”
The conference, organized by the Education Development Management Unit (EDMU) of the OECS Commission, is supported by the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
It recognizes professional development as a critical issue affecting the Eastern Caribbean where untrained or under-trained teachers at the primary school level ranges account for 11 percent to 38 percent of the teaching force.
The OECS Commission and partners recognize that improved teacher quality through enhanced, continuous and job-embedded teacher education is essential to addressing this challenge.
Sisera Simon, Head of the EDMU at the OECS Commission said,
“We are responding to the need to re-engineer teacher education in the OECS through an evidence-based approach.
Through this conference, participants will gain a better understanding of the status of teacher education and collaborate to respond to the challenges in the region” said Ms. Simon.
Conference participants will identify methods for strengthening teacher education and improving teachers’ professional development in order to ultimately impact the quality of teaching and learning throughout the OECS.
Other expected outcomes of the conference include linking national colleges and Ministries of Education to better support professional development training.
Two days, 5th to 6th April, 2018, will be devoted to the training of curriculum specialists and teacher educators under USAID’s Early Learners Program (ELP) which is being implemented in partnership with the OECS Commission.
Participants will include Chief Education Officers, Education and Curriculum Officers, Principals of National Colleges, Deans of Teacher Education Programmes, Teacher Educators, Teachers’ Union Representatives, principals and teachers.
About the OECS USAID Early Learners Program (ELP)
The OECS USAID Early Learners Program (ELP) is a reading development program implemented through a partnership between the OECS Commission and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the six OECS member states of Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The goal of the ELP is to improve reading levels of learners in Grades K through 3. The ELP collaborates with local Ministries of Education to strengthen teachers’ skills through professional development opportunities; improve the quality of teaching through learner-centered approaches and appropriate resources; and improve strategies and guidelines for ongoing assessment.