OECS Launches Digital Education Capacity Strengthening Initiative

CASTRIES, St. Lucia – The St. Lucia-based Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission will on Friday launch the Digital Education Capacity-Strengthening Initiative (DECI), is a digital education program designed for the early grade education sector in the sub-regional grouping.

OEcCHILD(OECS Commission Photo)The Commission said that it is committed to developing a more responsive and resilient educational environment that is better able to meet the learning needs of boys and girls in the OECS region and that the hybrid launch will be held under theme “Developing Digital Content to Create Immersive Learning Experiences.”

The Commission said DECI will build the capacity of 600 principals and teachers in content development, in an effort to enhance teaching as well as the learning experience of students of Grades K to 3.

DECI will produce 3,000 culturally relevant courses that can be freely accessed by teachers, students, and parents through an OECS platform.

The Commission said a wide range of educational content which has already been curated and shared by the OECS Commission can be accessed by visiting the OECS Kolibri platform

“DECI will provide digital education training; culturally relevant, engaging digital content and activities; free access to learning materials; as well as support for leadership in digital education.

“DECI will support the improvement of teaching and learning in the OECS so that it reflects the needs of today’s learners, underscored by best practices in education. Most importantly, it will help to enhance the region’s readiness to migrate to a distributed learning environment in the event of major natural disasters or pandemics such as COVID-19 and other public health threats which often cause the suspension of in-person or face-to-face learning,” the Commission said in a statement.

Program Director at the Education Development Management Unit, Sisera Simon, said the successful transition to a distributed learning system will require among other things, adequate and equitable access to high quality digital learning materials.

“The program is well aligned with efforts that leverage digital technology to build resilience in the education system and support the continuity of learning in the OECS especially in the event of some unforeseen disruption.”

The Commission said DECI will continue to build on the frameworks that have already been designed and implemented through the recent OECS Content Development initiatives such as the OECS/USAID Early Learners Program (ELP) Write to Read book authoring initiative, the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Reads Open Educational Resources (OER) Capacity Program, and the iLearn Content Development Program.

Additionally, the outputs and impacts of DECI are aligned with the OECS’ Program for Educational Advancement and Relevant Learning (OECS PEARL) which seeks to advance progress towards the goals of the OECS Education Sector Strategy (OESS) through increased access and improved student learning in basic education, as well as enhance curriculum and assessment.

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.