Nearly 60 Belizean teachers are now equipped to teach students about their rights and benefits under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy following two two-day intensive Teacher Training Workshops in Stann Creek and Belmopan from January 27 through to January 30.
The Workshops are among a series of public education sessions targeting important stakeholder groups who are being prepared to effectively pass on information on the CARICOM Single Market and its provisions that enable Belizeans to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM Member States
The workshops were coordinated by the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection in partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat and made possible with funding by the Government of Canada under the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP) Component 300.
Teachers from a variety of subject areas attended a two day session at the Pelican Beach Resort in Dangriga, Stann Creek on January 27 and 28. The Teacher Workshop sessions then moved to Belmopan on January 29 and 30 where another 28 teachers from the capital and surrounding districts were engaged in the sessions. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.
The Workshops entailed presentations on the CARICOM Single Market delivered by Specialist Communications, CARICOM Secretariat, Salas Hamilton and the Senior Technical Officer, CTCP, Ms. Wanya Illes; updates on Belize’s implementation of requirements under the CSME given by Senior Trade Economist in the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Richard Reid; a special session on sustaining the teaching of regional integration in CARICOM classrooms by Deputy Programme Manager, Education, CARICOM Secretariat Ms. Patricia McPherson. The Belize CSME focal point also encouraged teachers to integrate CSME content into existing activities leading up to CARICOM week (28th June to July 4th) and CARICOM day.
The Workshops were facilitated by Dr Gordon Harewood, a Curriculum Development Specialist who, using an engaging and participatory approach, led teachers through a process of infusing CSME concepts into lesson plans. This is expected to afford students an opportunity to understand the provisions carved out for them under the Treaty of Chaguaramas, and how to access opportunities throughout the Caribbean and their roles and responsibilities in the Caribbean Community.
The sessions were designed to provide teachers with the knowledge and competencies to facilitate interesting, student-centred activities, and to engage teachers in exploring project-based learning. It is hoped that the workshops will lead to more effective learning and teaching of content and concepts relevant to regional integration and CSME, and help facilitate the development of 21st century skills while developing positive attitudes towards regional integration and CSME.
Other Teacher Training Workshops on the CSME are planned for April in Orange Walk and Belize City, while a Media Training Workshop and CSME Spokespersons Workshop are scheduled for the last week in February in Belize City.
All Workshops are key activities under the the CSME Information Flows Project which is mandated to set the framework for heightened public education and awareness on the CSME led by the focal point Ministries in six CARICOM Member States. This includes capacity building initiatives, the AccessCSME series, sustainable public education strategies and information channels, and Workshop training of the Media, Teachers and Spokesperson to spread the word among their significant stakeholders and publics. The project is being implemented in Belize, Jamaica, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Guyana.