A signing ceremony to restructure the Early Childhood Curriculum in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), was held by officials of the Ministry of Education, National Reconciliation, Ecclesiastical Affairs, & Information, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development & Information Technology, and the Organisation of American States (OAS)/Development Cooperation Fund (DCF) project.
The ceremony was held on Thursday, 29th March, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room.
Director of Economic Planning, Ms. Laura Anthony Browne, said in the 2013-2025 Development Plan, the Government of SVG identifies Early Childhood Education as critical to the development of the nation’s human capital, and it established as a priority, the enhancement of Early Childhood Education.
Ms. Browne, on behalf of the Government, took the opportunity to applaud the entrepreneurial spirit which has fueled the opening of several pre-schools in the country. She said that it is the Government’s wish to provide guidelines and standards, which support the pre-schools within the dynamics of the 21st Century. Ms. Browne also thanked the OAS for its generous contribution.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Morine Williams, noted that under goal #4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), which deals with education in the post 2015 development agenda, aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.
Mrs. Williams said that the Ministry is cognizant of the fact that the curriculum plays an essential role in enabling quality learning, a crucial element necessary for the attaining of this goal.
The Permanent Secretary also said that the curriculum determines whether education is inclusive and its provision is equitable. She added that the curriculum, therefore, provides a bridge between education and development.
Mrs. Williams further stated that the pre-primary/pre-school curriculum currently in use in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has been in existence for fifteen years, and noted that since then, there had been major strides in the early childhood sector. She however, emphasised that the curriculum must evolve and reflect the changes of the times.
Senior Education Officer with responsibility for Early Childhood Education, Mrs. Gweneth Cambridge, in her remarks, thanked all stakeholders for their contribution towards this important initiative.
Administrative Technician of the OAS in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ms. Diana Brown, said that the project seeks to promote universal access to, and strengthen the equitable delivery of comprehensive and quality childhood development for all children, from the earliest stages of development, specifically through the creation of a unified, project-based and student-centered curriculum.
Ms. Brown also said that education is regarded as one of the critical pillars for human and economic development, and the development and molding of young minds, is a crucial first step. The OAS Administrative Technician emphasised the OAS’s commitment to the social and economic development of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines through education.
The first phase for the provision of universal access to, and the strengthening of delivery of comprehensive and quality early childhood education in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, will be executed at a cost of US$83,000.