Several developmental partners working in the education sector in the Eastern Caribbean are coming together to collaborate with regional governments to undertake the necessary reform of their education systems.

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), University of the West Indies (UWI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Foundation for the Development of Caribbean Children (FDCC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are signing a Memorandum of Understanding committing them to the collaboration.

The strategic relationship will focus on sharing information, advocating and speaking in a common voice and consolidating resources coming into the sub-region to assist Caribbean countries in ensuring that their education systems are effective vehicles of human empowerment and social transformation.

The partnership is informed by an understanding that a review of the education system must start with the acknowledgement that the systems in the Caribbean have served the region well and are largely responsible for the good human development indicators throughout much of the Caribbean.

“The successes of the past should be used to plan adaptations that adequately address the realities of the present and more importantly tool all Caribbean girls and boys to face a complex future,” the developmental partners stated in their MOU.

As part of the agreement, partners said they would act upon the request of countries in the region and assist states within a holistic framework with their own expertise and resources, but in collaboration with the partners in the MOU.

The signatories to the MOU have also committed to actively share information about initiatives and on-going work opportunities to deepen partnership.

The MOU is coming at an important juncture of Caribbean development – a period when the ravages of the global economy are causing countries in the sub region and indeed further afield, to look inwardly at their systems, at their institutions and at their people with a view to re-inventing and re-tooling them to be more productive in a rapidly changing environment.

It has long been accepted that the output of the education sector is a key determinant of a country’s economic performance and potential. It is only natural therefore that increasingly educational effectiveness has become a focus of governments and other partners in the Caribbean sub region as governments seek to radically reposition their education sectors.

The MOU was signed at the CXC Headquarters on Monday 26th March.