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Stakeholders Recommend Regional Coordination Effort For Improved Education

Image of La Bennett

PRESS RELEASE –  BRIDGETOWN, Barbados June 21, 2017) – Education stakeholders from across the Caribbean are recommending the establishment of a dedicated coordination platform which will implement and monitor the region’s progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) Education Goals and Targets.

SDG 4, one of the global goals adopted by world leaders in 2015, urges countries to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”

Image of La Bennett
La Bennett

Stakeholders made the call for the platform during a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)/ UNESCO Regional Technical Workshop on the implications of SDG 4 for education planning, monitoring and evaluation. Stakeholders included approximately 100 representatives from Ministries of Education, as well as CDB, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Caribbean Centre for Education Planning at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

Speaking at the launch of the workshop, CDB Acting Vice-President (Operations), Monica La Bennett, noted that countries in the region are committed to developing their education systems.

“Even in these economically challenging times, many countries invest up to 6% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and between 15% and 20% of annual recurrent expenditure in education. Over the past three decades, CDB has provided financing of approximately US$715 million for education throughout the region. This level of significant investment demonstrates the shared conviction that maximizing the full human potential of the Caribbean is essential to its development. However, we must interrogate whether we are achieving optimal benefits and results from such investment,” she explained.

The regional platform will aim to improve the coordination of activities by development partners and Member States to support SDG 4 and increase efficiency and effectiveness in planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Caribbean Centre for Educational Planning launched
In addition, during the workshop, the Caribbean Centre for Educational Planning (CCEP) was officially launched. Hosted by UWI, the CCEP is designed to provide support to educational institutions and countries across the Caribbean in designing, implementing and monitoring their education plans. It is supported by CDB, the UNESCO Cluster Office in Kingston, Jamaica and the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning.

Deidre Clarendon, Division Chief, Social Sector Division, CDB, noted that assisting with the development of the CCEP is an extension of CDB’s role in strengthening the regional education planning process and systems.

“Our commitment is to continue supporting the planning process so that the education systems in countries are developed on evidenced-based, strategic decision-making, effective implementation and sustained monitoring and evaluation…As the de facto regional centre, our encouragement is that the CCEP will function as its name suggests – a truly regional mechanism that is responsive to the needs of education planning practitioners throughout the region,” she said.

Although based at the School of Education, UWI, Mona, the CCEP will utilise expertise from across the University’s three campuses, as well as from among educational planning experts in the Caribbean.

The workshop was held from June 6 to 9 at the Accra Hotel and the Courtyard by Marriot in Barbados.

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