At the formation of the Organisation, the islands were already co-operating in subregional programmes in the area of primary school technical and vocational education curricula and teaching materials as well as tertiary and post secondary technical education. This latter programme resulted in the construction of technical schools in OECS Member States, the provision of equipment and curriculum development initiatives.
Ministers of Education meet annually to review a wide variety of subject areas pertaining to education. These meetings led to the joint development of a project directed towards the creation and further development of OECS tertiary education institutions from funds provided largely by the EC under the Third and Fourth Lomé Conventions.Formation of the Organisation Within the context of their limited resources, attention will be paid to a division of labour whereby each country’s institution would be identified as a “Centre of Excellence” to which other countries’ students could be sent.
Education Reform Unit
The OECS has also embarked on a multi-faceted programme of education reform, intended to strengthen the capacity of Member States to plan, and implement affordable relevant education reform initiatives through sub-regional co-operation.
Components of this programme include upgrading and expanding primary and secondary school plant; staff development;Formation of the Organisation curriculum development; management and co-ordination of technical and vocational education, and adult and continuing education; harmonisation of education legislation; and the development of an Education Management Information System.
Institutional support for these initiatives will be provided by the Education Reform Unit, established in January 1994, which is based at the Central Secretariat in St. Lucia. CIDA has provided initial support for the establishment of the unit and further assistance from the Canadian government is being solicited for this project. Support for the technical and vocational component of the education reform strategy continues to come from the Government of Germany.