The promotion of educational advancement has continued as the Ministry of Education received 350 laptop computers from the United Nations (UN) to support the advancement in COVID 19 mitigation strategies for the Education sector. Education Minister, Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, received the computers from UN Resident Coordinator, Marina Walter, in a virtual handover ceremony on June 11, 2021.
During the virtual event, the United Nation’s team shared that funding for the computers came from the UN’s Generation Unlimited (Gen U) initiative, a global project that aims to transform education so it can better provide young people with the skills they will need for the jobs and businesses of the future.
Minister Gadsby-Dolly thanked the UN for supporting the Ministry’s efforts to transform the system, an initiative that increasingly relies on digital technology stating, “if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is the fact that our world has and will continue to evolve exponentially, and our students must be prepared for the dynamic shift that is taking place. I am again grateful to organizations like the United Nations who see a need and contribute to making a difference.”
“COVID-19 accelerated efforts that were already underway to modernise the country’s education sector by integrating more digital technology into how education is delivered to, and accessed by, students,” Ms. Walter said the investment in laptops demonstrated the UN’s commitment to Trinidad and Tobago’s Government and people and shared that, “The UN is happy to support the Government’s efforts to build back better after the pandemic, in a way that fulfills the commitment of all UN member states to leave no one behind.”
Gen U is also supporting the Government with two potentially transformative assessments, the first to determine the skills the economy will need in order to diversify and grow, especially in the smart technologies that are beginning to dominate the global economy; and the second to ascertain the changes required in the education system to help students develop these skills. Trinidad and Tobago is the first Caribbean country to implement Gen U, and the country’s President, Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, co-chairs the global initiative with the UN Secretary General, António Guterres.
Also attending the virtual ceremony were Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean, Tanya Radosavljevic Deputy UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean, Ms. Lisa Henry David, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Peter Smith, Director, Educational Planning Division and Ms. Carol Bhagwandin, Director, Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).