OAS, open campus in West Indies sign distance pact

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the University of the West Indies Open Campus (UWIOC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help educators in the English-speaking Caribbean to promote democratic values and practices in their classrooms, schools and communities.

Under the agreement — signed concurrently at the OAS 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.

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