Acknowledging that a digital presence was needed to drive education in the region, The University of the West Indies (UWI) plans to launch a website for Caribbean research next month.
Director of the Caribbean Educational Research Centre (CERC) at UWI, Professor Joel Warrican, made the announcement at the Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education (ECJBTE) meeting at the Cave Hill Campus, St Michael, on Thursday.
Last year, UWI conceptualised a Research Initiative for Supporting Education in the Caribbean also known as RISE Caribbean which was funded by a $3.6 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development.
Through the initiative, the Caribbean Educational Research Centre (CERC) was established.
“CERC is conscious of the fact that a digital presence is essential and so over the past months, we have been working hard on preparing a digital space which contains our repository for storing and managing research data and publication; a website that will be a major conduit for sharing results of research and other resources; social media that will broaden our reach,” he said.
Warrican said that the website, which will be launched on December 6, would include an Education Management Information System (EMIS) as well.
“…that will help us to manage our internal operations more efficiently as well as assist with our data collection activities. We hear quite often that many of our ministries and schools do not have an EMIS. It is going to help the research centre in that it will be a source of getting data in real-time to the centre, but at the same time, it is helping our partners in the ministries of education to help to manage the information in their schools.”
He reassured students and staff that their information would be stored in a “safe way” on the platform.
Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona-Archer Bradshaw, who was present at the two-day conference, applauded UWI for their innovative idea.
“Gone are the days where we have to rely on international best practices and what is done in the international context to inform wholly and solely what is done within the Caribbean. It is against this backdrop that I commend the University of the West Indies and particularly the School of Education for the research initiative, and for supporting education because it provides that platform for us to come together and share ideas. It provides the platform for us to learn from each other,” she said.
The website along with the centre’s Instagram and podcast will go live during the meeting of chief education officers and planners from the Eastern Caribbean in Martinique. (RT)