CDB, UNICEF partner to improve quality of early childhood education in the Caribbean

Students of the Beacon Light of the Nazarene School, Antigua and Barbuda hand over newly launched Caribbean Early Childhood Development Good Practice Guide to (from left to right) Ms. Monica La Bennett, Vice-President (Operations), Caribbean Development Bank; Hon. Michael Browne, Minister Education, Antigua and Barbuda; Dr. Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative, Office for the Eastern Caribbean. (Photo via CDB)

February 15, 2018, ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda– International and Regional academicians, researchers and practitioners have convened in Antigua and Barbuda to discuss opportunities and plans for improving the quality of and access to early childhood education for Caribbean children ages zero to five. The three-day Early Childhood Development Regional Research Conference, themed ‘Early Moments Matter – Nurturing Care in the Early Years’, takes place February 13 to 15.

Despite a strong correlation between investment in early childhood development (ECD) and high levels of social and economic development, research suggests that the Caribbean still invests too little, or not at all, in early education. According to data collected by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), 25 percent of the Region’s children, mainly those from poor and vulnerable families, do not have access during critical developmental years. CDB and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have therefore partnered to produce the Caribbean Early Childhood Development Good Practice Guide, which launched officially on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the Conference.

“CDB has taken a policy decision that early childhood education will be a priority for 21st century education. To this end, the Bank will deliberately work with our Borrowing Member Countries to reconfigure available capacity at the primary level to accommodate additional ECD places, establish standalone nursery schools and pilot model ECD centres to accommodate new classes in parallel with the training of early childhood teachers,” Monica La Bennett, Vice-President (Operations), CDB told attendees. (more…)

Expedite full implementation of CSME – CARICOM Chairman

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Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Meeting
Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Meeting
“The CSME must not be allowed to become a victim of equivocation and procrastination.”- CARICOM Chairman, President David Granger
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must expedite the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

This was the charge President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger, issued to Heads of Government and delegates at the opening of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Georgetown Guyana on Thursday morning.

“Economic cooperation is a fundamental pillar of our Community. The Caribbean, if it is to escape the hazard of economic emasculation in today’s global environment, must expedite the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). We face threats that include dampened demand for our goods and services and distortions in our financial sectors caused by de-risking by international banks.

Lead Head of Government of the CSME, Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean at the opening ceremony
Lead Head of Government with resposibility for the CSME, Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean (left) at the opening ceremony

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Caribbean leaders at UN warn of region’s ‘economic collapse’ under US, EU decision on banking

Prime Minister Allen Michael Chastanet of Saint Lucia addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. (Photo via UN /Cia Pak)
Prime Minister Allen Michael Chastanet of Saint Lucia (Photo via UN /Cia Pak)
Prime Minister Gaston Alphonso Browne of Antigua and Barbuda addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. (Photo via UN/Cia Pak)
Prime Minister Gaston Alphonso Browne of Antigua and Barbuda (Photo via UN/Cia Pak)
Prime Minister Timothy Harris of Saint Kitts and Nevis addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. (Photo via UN/Cia Pak)
Prime Minister Timothy Harris of Saint Kitts and Nevis. (Photo via UN/Cia Pak)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Given their size and limited choices for economic expansion, small island States like Saint Lucia have looked to the more advanced economies for innovative means of economic development, the tiny country’s Prime Minister told the United Nations today, among many speakers from the region who said they now find themselves being penalised as tax havens by the very architects of such strategies.

Having adopted programmes created by wealthy countries, such as ‘Citizenship by Investment’ programmes,’ and financial services and trusts, small island states have been “left to dance between the raindrops,” as, once they become branded as tax havens, their ability to grow their economies becomes compromised, Allen Michael Chastanet , St. Lucia’s Prime Minister said in his address to the Assembly’s annual general debate.

“A painful example of such exclusion is the inescapable fact that while we continue to feel the negative effects of the 2008-2009 global financial and economic crises, we are not involved in the solutions to the problems,” he said, noting that while the G20 has designated itself the forum for collective international economic cooperation, Saint Lucia, like the majority of UN Member States, is not a member of that bloc, “nor were we consulted on its appointment as the arbiters of our economic fate.”

The G20 also has a serious legitimacy problem, Mr. Chastanet continued, noting that aside from being unofficial and non-inclusive, many of the countries at the table represent the champions of the economic and financial systems and policies that led the world into the crisis in the first place.

“The crisis has produced in our states, increased poverty, suffering and social and political upheaval. Its disproportionate impact on the poor has only widened the gap between developing and developed countries,” he said.

Read more at: United Nations News Centre