As part of the ongoing series of regional Focal Points meetings, COL organised a conference of Africa and Europe-based Focal Points in Seychelles from 20-21 February 2023. Official representatives from 20 Commonwealth countries in the region participated in the two-day meeting.
Seychelles’ Minister of Education, the Honourable Dr Justin Valantin, inaugurated the meeting and spoke to the relevance and importance of COL and its work.
“For us in the Seychelles, and I believe for many other smaller states, we will be delighted to continue to have the companionship of COL as we embark on our transformation agenda. When elsewhere organizations are assessing their worthiness and significance, we in the small states of the commonwealth, we are truly applauding the existence of COL,” he stated.
Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of COL, welcoming Focal Points, remarked how such a face-to-face meeting provided a unique opportunity to remind the Member States of COL’s mission, its organisation and programmes. “We need to hear from you what your priorities are and how COL can address these. This is also an opportunity for us to present a summary of what we have done in your countries since 2021,” she said.
COL Country Reports covering activities in the Member States from 2021 were distributed to the Focal Points.
Part of COL’s Focal Points agenda was to clearly identify three to five national priorities in education and skills development and discuss how COL can address them. Discussions also included COL’s Green Learning Agenda – while taking note of advances in OER and technology-enabled learning – the role of Focal Points and how COL can strengthen its network, and its Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) programs.
COL’s team of facilitators included Ms Frances Ferreira, Acting Director: Skills, Mr Robert Okinda, Adviser: TVSD, and Professor Jane-Frances Agbu, Adviser: Higher Education.