The OAS and The University of West Indies launch Alliance for Citizenship Education
The Secretary General of the
OAS, Luis Almagro, on his
first visit to a Caribbean country since taking office earlier
this year, launched the "OAS-UWI Alliance for Citizenship Education"
in Jamaica, with the Principal of the University of the West Indies
(UWI), Archibald McDonald. The alliance aims to strengthen the
capacity of young educators who are part of the UWI Mona group "Governance
Society" and enrich the way the issues of governance and
citizenship education are included in the academic curriculum.
The Governance Society
Organization trains educators, children, youth and adolescents on
how to prepare to be good citizens to promote a more democratic,
inclusive, prosperous and peaceful society. In this context, the OAS
will support the implementation of specific initiatives of civic
education, as well as the transfer of knowledge from the University
to communities and schools across Jamaica. As part of the alliance,
the OAS will provide access to all resources on public education,
implemented under the framework of the Inter-American Program on
Education for Democratic Values and Practices.
"Education for democratic citizenship is a key component of quality and inclusive education that advocates equality between people. Its implementation in formal, non-formal and informal education develops children’s and youth’s self-esteem and self-confidence. It promotes solidarity, friendship, care for oneself, and care for others, respect and recognition of diversity, different cultures and histories, and critical thinking to make decisions that meet the major challenges that arise at the personal, community, and global levels," said Almagro.
The OAS-UWI partnership began
with the delivery of a workshop at the UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica,
in collaboration with UNICEF On October 30 and 31. During the
workshop, students learned how to propose, lead and evaluate
programs that promote citizenship education. The OAS “Peace Leaders Program,” which has benefitted nearly 2000 students
and 300 teachers from public schools of vulnerable communities in
the State of Hidalgo, Mexico, was analyzed as a practice that could
be replicated in the wider Caribbean.
To promote citizenship education, the OAS will continue to work with
the UWI to expand this and other successful youth-driven educational
models throughout the Caribbean. This is an example of how Almagro’s
new administration intends to put the OAS at the service of the
people, by working in collaboration with governments, academia, and
other actors in addressing the region’s challenges.