During the period 19 – 23 June 2017, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations, Ms. Michelle Charles, represented the Honourable Minister with responsibility for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development at a week-long congress on Secondary Education.
The event, “1st International Workshop of Secondary Education”, was held in the Republic of Cuba and was attended by two hundred and eight (208) delegates from ten (10) countries – Equatorial New Guinea, Angola, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, St. Lucia, Panama, and the United States of America.
This congress provided many opportunities for Saint Lucia to understand, discuss and experience the initiatives that drive the Cuban Education System. It also provided the opportunity to engage other international agencies interested in developing strategic alliances which can advance the vision of the department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations.
During the congress the Deputy Permanent Secretary had the opportunity to meet with both the Minister and Deputy Ministers of Education and also the Director of Secondary Education in Cuba. The administrators affirmed their country’s willingness to strengthen relations with Saint Lucia though the provision of technical support and assistance which will significantly contribute towards changing the education landscape of Saint Lucia. Some of the areas identified for further collaboration between the countries include:
- Curriculum design and development
- Teacher training in key areas including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
- Integration of technology in instruction and learning.
The Cuba congress also provided insights into how the Department of Education can inspire and motivate its teachers by allowing them to present their research and successful practices to their peers as a means of knowledge and information transfer, which will serve to improve classroom practices.
The Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations is especially thankful to the Cuban Government for the invitation, for indicating their willingness to continue and strengthen their collaboration with the Government and people of Saint Lucia and also for the kind hospitality and courtesies extended.