Monday, January 31, 2022 —The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission recently joined the global community in celebrating the fourth International Day of Education, held on January 24th, under the theme “Changing Course, Transforming Education.”
The purpose of this year’s theme is to encourage dialogue on ways to strengthen education and manage its digital transformation. On International Day of Education 2022, the OECS Commission reflected on and continues to reflect on the challenges to life, and inherently to education, exacerbated by learning losses caused by recurring school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerated Learning Poverty.
Mindful of the foregoing, the OECS region shares its accomplishments and joins the global community in communicating the message of Hope and Resilience to its members and partners. All eleven Member States of this regional organisation have demonstrated immense fortitude at a time when we are balancing a myriad of constraining health, economic and social factors. COVID-19 has adversely impacted this generation of learners and we have found ourselves living ‘a crisis within a crisis’ that requires an agile approach. As we pursue virtual learning during the pandemic, COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to change course, rethink and ultimately refine education policy to make it more innovative and resilient where “every learner succeeds”.
The OECS territories have risen admirably to the challenge. They have supported each other through this difficult period, engaging in joint procurement to reduce cost; joint strategy development for the reopening of schools; joint approaches to online learning; and the joint development of instructional content to support distributed learning models.
Notwithstanding the current economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission remains committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) which seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030, in the OECS region. The delivery of quality education through programmes targeting various components remains a priority and unwavering gratitude is extended to educators who have quickly adapted and successfully applied innovative strategies to engage students and curtail learning loss.
As the region continues to strengthen and transform education in order to build a more sustainable future where every learner succeeds, the theme for this year’s celebration continues to inspire us to proceed confidently, progress steadily and seek stability in transforming education for all. The OECS Commission congratulates all education stakeholders: Ministries of Education, Education Institutions, Parents and Students.
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