On September 24, 2021, World Education held the official launch of the Saint Lucia ConnectED Activity, a two-year initiative funded by United States Agency for International Development.
The launch ceremony, hosted by Sir Arthur Lewis Community college with remote participation from various partners and stakeholders, featured remarks from U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Linda S. Taglialatela, and Minister Shawn Edward of the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training.
Other notable speakers included April Jones, chair of the Department of Social Work at Tuskegee University; Ajani LeBourne, first vice president of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council; Karen Renee of the Curriculum & Development Unit at the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training; and Alison Webber, executive director of World Education’s EdTech Center, a core partner in the ConnectED consortium.
A common theme across speakers was the digital divide, which COVID-19 has increased. The Saint Lucia ConnectED Activity will build the resilience and capacity of the educational system to overcome challenges to online learning posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and prepare youth to take advantage of the opportunities created by the new digital economy.
The Saint Lucia ConnectEd Activity was designed by World Education in partnership with Saint Lucia’s Department of Education, Innovation, and Gender Relations, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Tuskegee University, and Saint Lucia National Youth Council, among other partners, to improve the country’s quality of teaching and learning by equipping youth and educators as digital literacy leaders in their communities.
At the launch, Ms. Taglialatela said “in many ways, ConnectED is designed for these unusual times because it builds digital literacy, something we have realized is more important due to the COVID pandemic…training youth in this area is now not a privilege but a necessity.”
A full recording of the launch is available here.