Wednesday, May 13, 2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Eastern Caribbean’s education system to adjust to a new norm in curriculum instruction. The academic term, which commenced on April 20, 2020 will be administered across the region through an online classroom environment, particularly as the need for social distancing has become a mandatory protocol to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The OECS Commission recognises that the success of this approach to learning can only be realised if students are equipped with the requisite tools. The Commission is therefore pleased to announce its partnership with Saint Lucia Electricity Services (LUCELEC). The company donated US$10,000.00 to supply tablets to schools across the region.
Managing Director, Mr. Trevor Louisy says this gesture of goodwill is in keeping with LUCELEC’s inclusive growth strategy:
“We exist as part of a community. Our Power of Caring is not just a slogan. It’s an integral part of our value system and culture that shapes how we do business and how we relate to our various stakeholders. So, we’re totally invested in this collective challenge that is COVID-19 and how we respond as a part of the local business community, the country and the region.”
Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules underscored the aim of the OECS’ COVID-19 Response, which is to supplement national efforts in Member States by helping to fill gaps where they exist. In this regard, Dr. Jules expressed gratitude to LUCELEC for their contribution to support the regional education initiative.
The Director General indicated that the OECS is seeking to undertake joint procurement of tablets and other learning devices in order to help bridge the digital divide and reduce the cost of purchase to Member States. It is expected that through joint procurement the cost per unit will be considerably less and any contributions received from the private sector by the OECS will be sunk against the overall procurement cost to further reduce the per unit costs to governments.
LUCELEC encouraged other private sector entities to be part of the regional effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic:
“The private sector in the region has always stepped up in times of national or regional crisis to support and take care of their employees and their communities. We are certain they will do whatever is within their means to do, bearing in mind this crisis and its impact on the private sector, national economies and the region is still unfolding. How we all come out of this will require a collective and coordinated effort at all levels.”