OECS Commission Launches Global Digital Library

CASTRIES, St. Lucia – The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission Wednesday launched its Global Digital Library (GDL), describing it as an important part of the broader strategic objective to develop a digital learning ecosystem that supports lifelong learning throughout the sub-regional grouping.

OECS(OECS File Photo)“The vision for this ecosystem is a digital platform and hub that houses resources for K-12 learning and manages teacher capacity development, knowledge management and professional training,” the St. Lucia-based OECS Commission said in a statement.

It said that the GDL is an open education repository targeting early learners and contains over 6000 books in 83 languages and a fast growing repository of early mathematics resources.

The GDL is designed to be user-friendly for children, teachers, parents and other caretakers, it added.

The Library has been chosen as the first Digital Public Good (DPG) in education to be launched in the OECS under the GIGA Initiative, a collaboration between the OECS and UNICEF, ITU and the DPG Alliance.

DPGs in Education will contribute significantly to the goal of achieving equitable access to quality instructional materials in the OECS.

OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, speaking at the sixth Council of Ministers of Education meeting earlier this year, noted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic “has taught us that pivoting to online learning has not led to an automatic widening of access and participation”.

He said embracing open education will remove obstacles to digital education in cost, geography, time and entry requirements by giving all learners the opportunity to access education resources at a lower or nearly no cost, and in a flexible way “extremely important considerations in the context of the vulnerabilities faced by OECS member states today”.

The Commission said that content from the Library and other OECS-led content development initiatives will be integrated into the OECS eLearning platform by the end of October this year.

The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.