The implementation in Barbados of the ProFuturo digital education programme launched by Fundación Telefónica and ¨la Caixa¨, began this week with the training of the Ministry of Education’s officials, school principals and teacher coaches in the use and appropriation of ICT in the teaching-learning process.
For two weeks, educational leaders have met in Bridgetown to learn about innovation and educational leadership, while developing skills to incorporate technology into the classroom.
After these sessions, the implementation of the programme will continue with the training of more than 190 teachers and the delivery of the technological equipment and educational content that will complement the education curriculum in 17 schools of Barbados.
The technological equipment of ProFuturo (tablets, laptops and wireless routers) will allow the incorporation of innovative teaching methodologies to the classroom. Students will have access to digital content and interactive materials for improving their learning experiences.
During all the stages of this process, teachers and school directors will have permanent support so that more than 4,000 children of the island take full advantage of the benefits of technology.
The arrival of this program in the Caribbean is the result of a collaborative effort between the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (CITEL), the Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) of the OAS, the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training of Barbados, and ProFuturo.
Equal opportunities for Barbadian children
At the opening ceremony of the training sessions, the Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Hon. Santia Bradshaw M.P., highlighted the importance of this program to complement teaching development and class methodology updating at elementary schools:
“The Ministry is continuously seeking to provide opportunities for our teachers to be trained in the integration of technology in the curriculum, and equip more schools with the much needed hardware and software, and above all of this, to transform the learning environment for our students.
We are very pleased to officially launch this collaborative effort of the Digital Classroom initiative between the Organization of American States, Profuturo, and the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training."
The OAS representative in Barbados Ambassador Francis McBarnette, expressed the Organization's interest in offering more opportunities for more children in the Americas:
“Within the OAS, the department of Human Development, Education and Employment supports the efforts of the member states to increase access to quality education and lifelong opportunities for all.
We live in an era when technology is creating multiple opportunities and solutions in all areas. ICT opens a universe of possibilities to bring quality education to all, including vulnerable environments. We are therefore extremely happy in the OAS for our relationship with ProFuturo, because like us they recognize that education is the most powerful instrument to reduce inequality, empower people and achieve sustainability and development.”
María Lobo, ProFuturo Programme Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, welcomed school principals and reaffirmed ProFuturo's commitment to education in the Caribbean:
“We have shared our commitment for the achievement of an inclusive, equitable and quality education, by incorporating digital education in the regions. As we all know we are immersed in a digital revolution that affects everything in our lives.
It is wonderful to see how Barbados is embracing this revolution and its tremendous potential for the development, transformation and growth of its society. ”