The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Finland expanded their cooperation in the education space through a €300,000 contribution. The funding will support teacher training on digital education and distance learning pedagogies in the Caribbean. Finland’s support is provided through its Ministry for Foreign Affairs and is delivered to programming in Guyana, Jamaica, and Suriname. The initiative is part of a regional teacher training program also including Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
The project strives to train primary school teachers and teachers in teacher training institutes through a comprehensive intervention that touches on digital education, pedagogical skills, and digital tools. Beneficiary teachers will receive courses accompanied by a mentorship program. The initial proposal is to include modules focusing on digital pedagogy, the use of digital resources, methods for online assessment, instruction of students with special needs, and socio-emotional skills. The list of courses will be finalized once teachers in the three countries are surveyed about their training needs.
“The Finns know first-hand that education is critical to socioeconomic development. This is a challenge that’s particularly true in the Caribbean. We’re grateful for Finland’s partnering with us to support teacher training and digital education in the region and across this vital area to improve the lives of students and teachers throughout the Caribbean,” said IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone.
The emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic has required teachers to rapidly ramp up the use of distance learning modalities. Therefore, there is a continuous need to better equip teachers and teacher trainers to work with online and low-technology mediums for teaching and achieving learning outcomes. Moreover, even with students returning to full-time schooling, the Caribbean is susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricanes, making distance learning tools useful for the short, medium, and long term.
Through this partnership, Finland and the IDB are helping to foster digital transformation in the region in line with Vision 2025 - the IDB’s blueprint for stimulating recovery and reigniting economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean – by helping to accelerate the transition towards a more digital, resilient, inclusive, and quality education system in the Caribbean. By harnessing digital teacher training as a catalyst for learning achievement, the partners aim to mirror Finland’s basic principle that all people must have equal access to high-quality education and training.
More about the Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives.
About the Government of Finland
Finland joined the IDB in 1977. Since then, Finland has financed several IDB initiatives, and has been a strong supporter of efforts to reduce poverty and inequality, and has contributed generously to countries hit by natural disasters.
Erica Gabriela Chicola