In February 2021, the Education Development Management Unit (EDMU) of the OECS Commission hosted 3 virtual workshops on COVID-19 Resurgence Contingency Planning for 130 education officials from the 9 English speaking OECS territories. The workshop aimed to build technical competence for Ministries of Education staff in key areas needed to nurture and sustain resilient education systems in the face of pandemics and other emergencies.
The workshop, held on February 11, 18 and 24 of 2021, was made possible with financial support from the Global Partnership for Education through the COVID-19 grant.
UNICEF’s Office for the Eastern Caribbean along with technical expertise from Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), UNESCO in collaboration with McKinsey and Company, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and CARICOM Secretariat also supported the workshop.
Through the informational and practice-oriented sessions, the workshop provided participants – including Ministry of Education officials, school leaders, teachers, and support staff – with skills and tools to provide a coordinated emergency management approach in the sector during the pandemic.
Ultimately, and more importantly, this enhanced capacity will ensure that COVID-19 and similar crises will be less disruptive to students.
To this last point, Emma Dorn, Global Education Practice Manager, McKinsey and Company commented: “We were privileged to partner with UNESCO to discuss the COVID-19 Education Response Toolkit with the OECS nations – it was inspiring to hear how much has already been done in the midst of the pandemic, and jointly discuss how to support students and teachers going forward – not just academically but also with broader socio-emotional learning and growth.”