OECS PEARL Project To Meet Needs Of Primary Schoolers

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In a concerted effort to elevate primary education standards across the region, the OECS has introduced the Program for Educational Advancement and Relevant Learning (PEARL).

The OECS Program for Educational Advancement and Relevant Learning (PEARL), is a four-year programme aimed at refining the regional educational frameworks to better meet the needs of primary school students.

Discussing the endeavor, Curriculum Officer within the Ministry of Education and focal point for the curriculum and assessment of the PEARL Programme, Selma Biscette, emphasized the collaborative nature of the effort, noting that while the curriculum is regional in scope, it allows for customization to address the unique contexts of individual islands. This approach, she explained, ensures that students across the region can identify with the curriculum while also catering to specific local needs.

The PEARL program, she added, consists of four major components.

“It is a programme that is seeking to enhance education throughout the region. It has 4 major components where it targets curriculum and assessment and under this component, we are revising the primary school curriculum, we are training teachers in creative arts, we are developing regional assessments, that will assess the delivery of the curriculum.”

The Curriculum Officer went on to highlight other components of the programme.

“Other components include SEN which is special education and early childhood education where we had the refurbishment of Pre-K classrooms in the primary schools. We had six of those schools being refurbished and these are currently in operation. The other area of the PEARL is leadership and management, and we currently have 30 participants engaging in a course where they are being trained in proper leadership management of schools, and that is targeting primary school principals.”

The PEARL program, will be implemented from Grades K to 6. Acknowledging the progress made thus far, she highlighted that the curriculum development initiative has already reached Grade 4.

The curriculum development process, which began with face-to-face meetings in Saint Lucia, will continue virtually to facilitate ongoing collaboration among educators. The goal is to collect comprehensive data during the two-day session, paving the way for the completion of the curriculum development process by July, to be piloted in September 2024.

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