Education in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and as such is being supported by GPE alongside Dominica, Grenada and Saint Lucia.
The OECS recognizes the importance of improving the quality of education as part of the solution to improving social and economic development in the region.
On average, OECS countries spend over 17% of the national budget on education and between 5-7% of GDP.
The OECS countries have made good progress in access to basic education, which is expanded to universal levels with some countries implementing universal early childhood education, but some challenges remain with regard to access, equity, and quality.
The overarching goal of education outlined in the 2012-2021 OECS Education Sector Strategy (OESS) is to contribute to the socio-economic advancement of the OECS through a quality education system that enables learners of all ages to reach their true potential.
The OESS is results-oriented, focuses on learning outcomes, and provides a strategic approach aimed at strengthening leadership, management, and accountability systems within the education sectors in the region.
The OESS outlines seven objectives:
- Improve the quality and accountability of leadership and management by:
- Establishing professional development programs for school leaders across the region
- Strengthening accountability, knowledge management, and legal frameworks within which school leaders operate.
- Improve teachers’ professional development by:
- Recruiting and retaining qualified teachers and teacher trainers/educators
- Improving teacher management
- Increasing the number of qualified teachers operating within their field of expertise across schools in the OECS.
- Improve the quality of teaching and learning by:
- Providing different approaches that engage learners in creative learning experiences
- Improving achievement for all learners and ensure that they acquire the core competencies in the areas of literacy, numeracy, and technology.
- Improve curriculum and strategies for assessment by:
- Providing students with access to curricula that is based on defined learning outcomes
- Increasing students’ engagement and achievements, with levels of attainment matching international benchmarks
- Developing a regional education and skills strategy that meets the needs of individuals, communities, and employers in the 21st century context.
- Increase and expand access to quality early childhood development services by:
- Improving the quality of early childhood development services to meet the needs of children from birth to age five, including the most vulnerable
- Increasing funding for early childhood education programs by developing and implementing a strategy that encourages public-private partnerships
- Strengthening inter-sector, parent, and community collaboration and partnerships.
- Provide opportunities for all learners in technical and vocational education and training by:
- Providing introductory technical and vocational training for primary school students
- Creating a qualification framework that enables learners to move seamlessly between vocational and academic qualifications.
- Increase provision for tertiary and continuing education by:
- Improving funding mechanisms for tertiary and continuing education institutions across the OECS
- Improving governance systems and processes
- Improving the quality of programs and research offered by tertiary and continuing education institutions.
Also, the OESS covers the following cross-cutting themes: improving achievement levels in the core subjects of literacy, numeracy and technology; strengthening boys’ education; achieving equality of access to the marginalized and economically disadvantaged; strengthening disaster risk reduction and management measures; establishing effective knowledge management systems; and integrating technology in the classroom.