On the eve of its 53rd Independence Anniversary, Guyana signed a technical assistance co-operation agreement with the Organization of American States and the ProFuturo Foundation for a digital learning platform agreement to bridge the technological gap between the Coastal and the Hinterland regions of Guyana.
Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry, Minister of Education of Guyana, on Friday, May 24, 2019, signed on behalf of the Government of Guyana with Mr. Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, and Ms. Sofia Ferandez de Mesa, General Director of ProFuturo Foundation. The signing ceremony took place at the OAS Headquarters in Washington D.C, United States of America.
Of the five Caribbean countries chosen to benefit from the technical assistance agreement, only Guyana met the necessary implementation criteria to launch the programme. The other Caribbean member states are expected to sign the cooperation agreement soon.
ProFuturo is an education programme launched in 2016 by Telefónica Foundation and “La Caixa” Foundation, whose mission is to narrow the education gap in the world by providing quality digital education for children in vulnerable environments in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In line with Goal 4 of the United Nations’ 2030 sustainable development agenda on access to equitable and inclusive quality education for all.
In her remarks, the Honourable Minister of Education expressed the Government of Guyana’s gratitude for the technical assistance being provided by the OAS and Profuturo in the field of digital education. The Minister also acknowledged that to achieve equitable education in countries with topographies like Guyana, ICT becomes very relevant in ensuring that the same quality of education is provided in all areas.
Secretary-General Almagro recognised that Guyana is the first country in the Caribbean region to sign on to the cooperation agreement with Profuturo and it is hoped that this serves as the impetus for other Caribbean countries. He also mentioned that the platform will be of benefit to twenty-eight hinterland schools, provide training for 449 teachers and 5,435 hinterland students in primary schools across Guyana.
The Hon. Minister was accompanied by Mrs. Lesley Dowridge-Collins, Minister-Counsellor/ Deputy Chief of Mission and Mr. Jason Fields, First Secretary/ Alternate Representative to the OAS.