The Organization of American States (OAS), ProFuturo and the Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training of Barbados announced the commencement of the implementation of ProFuturo in this Caribbean country at the X Meeting of Ministers of Education held at Washington D.C. over the 8 and 9 July 2019.
The launch event was addressed by the Barbados Ambassador to the OAS, Noel Anderson Lynch; ProFuturo representative, Sofía Fernández de Mesa; the Executive Secretary for Integrated Development, Kim Osborne; and the Executive Secretary to the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission, Óscar León.
Ambassador Noel Anderson highlighted the importance of this alliance for educational development and quality in Barbados while reaffirming the commitment of his country’s Ministry of Education to the programme:
“We are excited about this alliance with the ProFuturo Foundation, an organisation that is committed to delivering a quality digital education to children from vulnerable sectors. Today, we wish to share this experience with the other countries and welcome the implementation of the programme in our schools”.
Sofía Fernández de Mesa expressed her gratitude to Barbados for its commitment to collaboration and emphasised the importance of spreading digital education to all Latin American students: “Many thanks to Barbados for the confidence shown in us to implement this programme and for having made the requisite contributions to make this public-private alliance a reality. Thank you for making it possible”.
Barbados is the second Caribbean country to take the ProFuturo programme on board. Last June, the Minister of Education of Guyana signed the cooperation agreement, thereby opening the door to Implementation of the programme in the schools of Guyana over 5,000 young boys and girls benefiting from quality digital educational content, teacher training and technological equipment.
The implementation of the ProFuturo Programme responds to the 2030 ICT Alliance signed in the Dominican Republic in 2016. This alliance, led by the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), seeks to connect 1.5 billion people globally by 2020; to connect all public schools to the Internet by 2030; to promote digital training, thereby developing talent for the digital economy; and to strengthen democratic participation through new media.
Inter-American Education Agenda
ProFuturo’s education programme is a commitment to strengthening abilities in vulnerable environments; to generating social, cultural, and economic development for citizens of the Caribbean according to the three cornerstones of the Inter-American Education Agenda (quality, inclusive, and equitable education); to strengthening the teaching profession; and to comprehensive care for early childhood.
ProFuturo is a joint initiative of Fundación Telefónica and “la Caixa” which, in collaboration with the OAS, will provide technological equipment, teacher training and digital resources to enhance the learning experience of over 4,000 young boys and girls at 17 schools in Barbados.