News Releases


For Release Upon Receipt - January 28, 2008

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus and the Organization of American States (OAS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of a course promoting democratic values and practices.

The MoU between UWI and the OAS will facilitate the joint development of a sustainable distance education course aimed at preparing educators in the OAS member states of the English-speaking Caribbean to promote democratic values and practices in their classrooms, schools and communities. The course content will be informed by the principles embodied in the Inter-American Democratic Charter to which Caribbean member states are signatories.

The UWI Open Campus team of experts charged with developing the course and the OAS met at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies from January 23-25, 2008 to discuss a range of issues of the course including curriculum goals and objectives, course content and instructional strategies.

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 as well as discuss the proposed content of the distance course and the key considerations that should inform its development.

Seed funding for this three-year pilot project has been provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and it is expected that participating member states will identify supplemental funding and provide counterpart resources.

Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Pro Vice Chancellor of UWI Open Campus stated, “This is a very valuable project for the region and we are pleased to partner with the OAS to enhance teacher skills and to help ensure that our future generations of Caribbean citizens continue to embrace democratic values and practices”.