GIS – Senior Public Officers from the Territory had the opportunity to weigh in on UNESCO’s recent Futures of Education Webinar Series and shared plans for moulding responsible global citizens in the Territory.
Secretary General for the BVI National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Allison Flax-Archer said the meetings are held as a discussion among various countries where ideas and challenges are shared, and in this case the topic was Citizenship and Participation.
“The shared nature of our challenges requires that we view our world as systems and subsystems; with our actions having implications for others at the local, regional and global level. To effectively address these challenges, we must collectively reaffirm education as a human right,” Dr, Flax-Archer said.
The BVI National Commission for UNESCO has been working closely with the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports (DYAS) to understand these challenges among youth and expand their interactions beyond the recollection of facts through interdisciplinary approaches to education, such as project-based learning.
This, the Secretary General said, will also help youth understand the importance of civic consciousness, human rights and diversity as well as bring their awareness to critical social issues faced by their communities and globally, all in the efforts of creating responsible global citizen.
Director for Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye, spoke on Citizenship and Participation Challenges and Opportunities as it relates to the Youth in our Territory.
The Director said, “We plan to increase the amount of programmes we offer this year and have already identified civic consciousness, respect for rights and diversity and volunteerism as sub-topics that we will be discussing with our young people… When it comes to volunteerism, the department has partnered with the secondary schools to provide avenues for volunteerism by utilising [our youth] for many of our productions that we carry out.”
She added that although it may seem like free labour, volunteers develop a sense of responsibility on the project/production they are working and often times are great promoters of the projects.
To view the Director for Department of Youth Affairs and Sports Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye’s presentation at the meeting use the link: https://youtu.be/-73JXEij25I?t=3712
Dr. Flax-Archer noted that in relation to what DYAS is undertaking, “Teachers are central and need to be empowered through training, curriculum, and teacher guides to support interdisciplinary discourse aligned to the sustainable development goals, especially in areas beyond their specialisation.”
The meeting ended on the notion that Education leaders, policy-makers and planners in the Caribbean must rethink civic education by gaining clarity on the activities which promote good citizenship and the role of diverse stakeholder groupings in creating national, regional and global systems which facilitate sustainable democracy.