OAS and UWI Sign MOU to Promote Democratic Principles in English-Speaking Caribbean


The Organization of American States (OAS) and the University of the West Indies Open Campus (UWIOC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help educators in the English-speaking Caribbean promote democratic values and practices in their classrooms and communities.
Under the agreement, signed concurrently at the OAS office in Washington DC and at the UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica, a sustainable distance education course will be developed to implement the programme. Course content will be informed by the principles embodied in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, to which Caribbean Member States are signatories.
Initial seed funding for this three-year pilot project has been provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and participating member states are expected to identify supplemental funding and provide modest counterpart resources.
In July 2007, a number of Caribbean stakeholders, including representatives from Ministries of Education, educational institutions and affiliated organizations, civil society and international organizations, met in Barbados to provide feedback on the project and to discuss the proposed content of the distance course, and the key considerations that should inform its development.
The signing of the OAS-UWIOC MoU follows a January 23-25 meeting at the UWI Cave Hill campus in Barbados between OAS officials and a UWI Open Campus team of experts charged with developing the course. That meeting considered curriculum goals and objectives, course content, and instructional strategies.
UWIOC Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, hailed the initiative as “a very valuable project for the region and we are pleased to partner with the OAS to enhance teacher skills and to help ensure that our future generations of Caribbean citizens continue to embrace democratic values and practices.”
Speaking for the OAS, Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Ambassador Alfonso Qui

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