2800 OECS Youth set to benefit from French Educational and Work Space exchange

Approximately two thousand eight hundred primary and secondary school students, and their teachers, are expected to benefit from the Linguistic Exchanges and Innovative Learning through Mobility (ELAN) Project – a two year activity valued at 3 million Euros under the Interreg Caraïbes Programme, which seeks to encourage plurilingualism within the Caribbean basin.

Under the project, the member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have been awarded Euro 300,000.00 from the European Development Fund (EDF) to implement tailored activities to enhance student mobility and school exchanges through improved linkages among education institutions in the region.

Specifically, the ELAN project will seek to increase support for school mobility in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, as well as improve proficiency levels in the languages used in the nearby geographical area, with a real priority given to school partnerships; and support the development of collaborative platforms to encourage virtual exchanges among educational communities.

The programme will provide a real opportunity for young people from the OECS to benefit from easier access to higher education and vocational training in a variety of fields.

Sisera Simon, Head of the OECS Educational Development Management Unit, noted, “The ELAN project provides OECS education systems with the opportunity to harness the region’s abundance of culture and language diversity, which will ultimately result in a better quality of life for the people of the region as intended under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.”

The ELAN project is also expected to serve as a springboard for Martinique’s active participation as an OECS member territory through linguistic exchanges, innovation and mobility which will build capacity; prepare young persons for active participation in and beyond the OECS region; and instill in citizens an appreciation for their own language.

As such, the integration of the DELF Junior Certification from secondary school should facilitate reaching B2 level, which is an upper intermediate level (what is usually referred to as “fluent”), at the end of high school (Community College) and a smoother enrolment in the French higher education system of the neighbouring French islands – Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Key project partners include: Collectivite Territorial de Martinique, Academie Martinique and GIP-FCIP, University of the West Indies, Alliance Francais, University of Haiti, Campus of France, University of Antilles, and ESPE.

An official signing ceremony for the ELAN Project was held on April 11, 2019, at Hotel Bateliere, in Martinique.

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