Caribbean Visit Strengthens Open Innovative Schooling

COL’s Open/Innovative Schooling (OIS) model increases access to secondary education, especially for out-of-school youth.  With a view to analysing local needs, monitoring progress of existing and initiating new partnerships, COL undertakes regular visits to different regions of the Commonwealth.  In October 2019, Dr Tony Mays, COL’s Education Specialist: Open Schooling undertook visits to Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

In Belize, Dr Mays discussed the development of digital content and plans for its piloting in selected schools or distance outreach centres. He visited several “evening” schools that support out-of-school children, youth and adults and which will use the new content once it has been approved by the Education Ministry. Teachers involved in the content development observed that even though the process is very time-consuming it is worthwhile.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Mays met with 20 representatives from the Ministry of Education, who had been involved in the development of open schooling content. Key takeaways for participants in this process included learning about creating interactive and multimedia content, mastering relevant software, as well as getting familiar with OER and copyright issues.

The visit to Guyana aimed to initiate a new partnership with the Adult Education Association and to explore possibilities for COL’s support in other areas identified by the Ministry of Education.

“In a digital world, the human dimension is still a critical factor for successful partnerships. The visit to the Caribbean helped bring key partners closer to the implementation of the model and achieving the goal of greater access to education and improved livelihoods,” noted Dr Mays.