U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the OECS, Linda Taglialatela seated with Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Saint Lucia, Peter Chia-yen Chen, Ambassador to St. Kitts & Nevis, Michael Chau-Horng Lin, and Ambassador to St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Peter Sha Li-Lan.
On July 29, 2022, World Education staff from the Saint Lucia ConnectEd Activity and representatives from Taiwan International Cooperation Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) as well as the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), visited the St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School in Saint Lucia to explore opportunities for collaboration between TaiwanICDF’s Project for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education and the ConnectEd activity. ConnectEd is looking to leverage current investments made under this initiative, such as the Smart Classroom infrastructure that TaiwanICDF has installed in eight secondary schools across the country, including St. Joseph’s Convent.
The meeting was hosted by Mr. Royston Emmanuel, Head of the eLearning Academy at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, a local implementing partner on the Saint Lucia ConnectEd activity. ConnectEd Chief of Party, Mr. Christopher Roberts, and Mr. Daniel Lee of the TaiwanICDF presented overviews of the respective projects, both of which address the digital divide within the education landscape in Saint Lucia. Mr. Ajani LeBourne, Vice President of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council (SLNYC), was also in attendance to present on the youth-led component of the ConnectEd activity. In an effort to center its approach in Positive Youth Development (PYD), ConnectEd has engaged members of the SLNYC in the design, implementation, and evaluation of project outcomes and activities.
Mr. Jeff Goumas, the Digital Learning Lead at the EdTech Center at World Education, spoke on the project’s utilization of the EdTech Makerspace as a tool for educator professional development. The project recently embarked on a week-long intensive teacher training of the EdTech MakerSpace (ETMS) workshop conducted by Mr. Goumas, which will be replicated with additional cohorts of teachers beginning in September. The training supports teachers in integrating digital (edtech) tools and PYD approaches into classroom instruction and aligns closely with the TaiwanICDF’s goal of integrating ICTs into curriculum and practice.
The meeting also featured a live demonstration of the Smart Classroom and engaged participating teachers and students from St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School, Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School, and Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in a lesson using the multi-media smart technology interface. The ConnectEd activity can also use the smart classrooms to record EdTech MakerSpace classroom activities. Furthermore, the Learning Management System, developed under the Project for ICT in Education, could be used as a repository of Open Educational Resources, created, curated, or adapted by educators during the ETMS training.
The visit demonstrated the value in alignment and coordination between development initiatives with similar goals. The ConnectEd activity looks forward to future collaboration with TaiwanICDF as both projects make strides towards closing the digital divide in Saint Lucia.
The Saint Lucia ConnectED activity is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this post are the responsibility of World Education, Inc. and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.