Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
The BVI National Commission for the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has concluded its workshop for Global Citizenship Education (GCED), which was held on November 7.
Secretary General of the BVI National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Allison Flax-Archer, said “The workshop raised awareness about how Global Citizenship Education (GCED) contributes to strengthening the capacities of education systems and created an opportunity for policymakers and other selected key stakeholders to reflect on the challenges and opportunities to expand and/or strengthen GCED in The British Virgin Islands and discuss actions that could be taken to achieve this.”
The Workshop is UNESCO’s effort in guiding the Member States of the United Nations’ Education 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals, mainly the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) which the world has been charged.
This goal states, “To ensure that all learners are provided with the knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development, sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”
Minister for Education Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley expressed that the Ministry is committed to this goal and evidence of this is: the frequent professional days for teachers; initiative such as Reading is Fun Week, to build reading skills for students; and the introduction of French courses in the school system.
“I have mentioned just a few of these milestones because they are all critical in advancing Global Citizenship Education in this Territory and addressing the Sustainable Development Goal 4”. He added, “For the BVI, Sustainable Development Goal 4 is fundamentally important for the achievement of sustainable development in the future of these Islands and our people.”
Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe said the Ministry’s goal is quality education and that the workshop supported this goal.
“A Quality Education is one that focuses on the whole child; the social, emotional, mental, physical and cognitive development to each student regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, social economic status or geographic location.” Mrs. Stoutt-Iqwe added, “It prepares a child for life, not just for testing. Quality education is supported by three key pillars: Enduring access to quality teachers, providing use of quality learning tools and professional development, and the establishment of safe and supportive quality learning environments.”
UNESCO has 195 Members and eight Associate Members of which the British Virgin Islands has been associated since 1983. UNESCO is known as the "intellectual" agency of the United Nations. At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, people must rely on the power of intelligence to innovate, expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new humanism.