THE Department of Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the National Commission for UNESCO and the Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations is undertaking the Strengthening of the Institutional Framework for the Promotion of Science and Technology in Saint Lucia Project.
This is a UNESCO-funded project with a budgetary allocation of USD20, 000.00, which has as its main purpose to transform and strengthen the current legislative and institutional Science and Technology landscape in Saint Lucia, while simultaneously building up and expanding on previous work programme areas.
Among the many activities planned, two for immediate implementation include: The Perception of Science in Secondary Schools Analysis and the Science and Technology Mascot Competition. It has been observed that there is a persistent lamenting on the absence of reliable data in Saint Lucia to inform decision-making. This Project will provide sound data on the perception of Science in Secondary Schools, upon which future policies could be based.
This Project intends to build on similar research undertaken in 2013 by repeating the study, using its findings as a baseline and the upcoming study’s findings as an end line. This will reveal any changes (positive or negative) in the perception of students towards Science, Technology and Innovation through the years. Like the 2013 study, this will not only provide insights on the perception of Science held by Secondary School students in Saint Lucia, but also seek to identify possible key factors contributing to the low level of performance in Science subjects; and develop recommendations to improve the performance of students in the Science subjects.
Further, in an effort to continue the popularisation of Science and Technology, the Department will be embarking on a Mascot Competition. The Department desires to use this powerful tool to rebrand Science and Technology and reach new demographics. It is anticipated that the Mascot will be the face that provides Science and Technology with a distinct personality, building and strengthening brand awareness, while reinforcing top-of-mind awareness.
It is the intention that as the public, especially the youth, will see the Mascot on a constant basis at all Science and Technology public education and awareness and other national activities, whether it be school visits, exhibitions, science fairs, summer camps etc., they will be more inclined to think of Science and Technology and become inspired. Through this Competition, a prototype (design) will be obtained that will be subsequently used to develop a Science and Technology Mascot.
It is anticipated that the Competition will run for the months of November, December and January due to unusual circumstances associated with Covid-19 pandemic. More information on the Mascot Competition can be obtained from a promotional flyer and videos that have been shared with all Secondary Schools on the island and through the Department’s Science and Technology Facebook Page.
Minister of Sustainable Development, HonorableDr. Gale T. C. Rigobert, commenting on this Science and Technology initiative, recognised the pivotal importance of Science and Technology to Saint Lucia’s economic growth and overall sustainable development. The Minister pledged her commitment to contributing to answers to environmental, social and economic problems by incorporating Science and Technology as part of the solution.